I have been a volunteer for Page Ahead since 1997. I have worked in the office cataloging books, filling book orders for the schools, photographing distribution events, creating story time felt board kits, and a host of other needed tasks. For all those years there was a never-ending stream of feedback from the children who cherished the new books and the teachers who were grateful for the new books for their children and enthusiastic about the response they saw when the books came. I loved hearing the comments from the children when they were selecting their books: "I love my bug book"; "Can I take 2?"; "Oh, I can read this one to my sister!" The magic of someone reading to them from the books could calm a rowdy group to be a spellbound group of children. The group wouldn't always be silent because the stories would prompt lot of questions. I'm proud to have been a part of getting so many thousands of books into the hands of children who in many cases had never had a new book of their own.
Page Ahead does excellent work helping to give children in low-income areas better access to reading materials. I have loved receiving the letters and drawings from the kids who have benefited from donations.
I used to volunteer for Page Ahead and it was such wonderful experience! I was excited to be part of an organization that put so much time and effort into helping kids get enthusiastic about reading. They work hard to ensure that the books and methods used are proven to promote a future of life-long learning for the kids.
The absolute best of the best. My experience with page ahead far outreaches the abilities, ideas, and productivity of most if not all other programs. Their attributed was even noticed by the govoner of Washington. their teaching abilities, their movement of their program is outstanding.
While I am not currently a volunteer, I have served Page Ahead in the past by being at the schools and supporting children choose their Summer Read-Up books. What excitement and delight these children showed, often wanting to choose books for a younger brother or sister as well. In Covid times, libraries are often closed and books can be expensive. Page Ahead plays an essential role of ensuring children have books to read at home for continued reading progress. In addition, the staff and volunteers are committed and dedicated, developing creative possibilities to serve the children and bring greater access equity to the community.
Page Ahead was founded in 1990 as Books for Kids. To date, the organization has distributed over 3.5 MILLION new books to nearly 1,000,000 disadvantaged children in preschools, head-start, elementary schools in underserved communities, and nonprofit organizations throughout Washington State. Their current, marque program, Book Up Summer, has demonstrated results in eliminating the so-called "Summer slide" where young students without access to books in their homes typically fall behind in maintaining their grade-level reading proficiency during the summer.
Last year was my first year of being a story time reader with Page Ahead. I was so impressed with the organization and loved being able to read to kindergarteners. After schools went remote Page Ahead continued to reach students with online "Story time with friends" and their book drive which got books to these young students to have as their own over the summer. I am proud to be part of this organization and what they do to motivate young readers!
From an early age I was taught to value education; however, my family was not able to afford books when I was growing up, and as a child of a single working parent even the library was too far away for the occasional trip until I was able to walk there on my own while carrying my pile of books.
I was fortunate that my aunt indulged my interest in reading and vocabulary building and purchased books for my birthday each year, I had read most of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie books by the time I was 13. Over the years my aunt and I bonded over the annual list of banned books and we would discuss how important it is to be exposed to these stories as it shows where we were as a society at the point of time in which a book was published, and because books allow us to travel absolutely anywhere.
Because of this I'm an ardent supporter of kids having access to books and now volunteer with PageAhead to help ensure this happens. PageAhead is an organization that truly cares about ensuring all kids have access to books, books that kids can call their own especially when they may not have anything else. Between the act of giving and the books themselves, kids are empowered to believe in (and hopefully participate in making) a better world, and who wouldn't support a better world?
I love Page Ahead and all the wonderful programs they provide young students. So many kids in our region lack access to libraries and internet. Page Ahead provides books for kids to keep. And, they let the kids pick out which books they want. So very important! The staff is friendly and great to work with. I've volunteered a few times and really enjoyed the experience. Keep up the great work!
As a kid who grew up in a household with no spare dollars for "luxuries" like books, I know the pain of being the only student not ordering from the book club flyers. Or of not ever having books of my own. That's why I support Page Ahead: they focus on getting books in the hands of kids that need them. And best of all: kids get to select their own books! I believe they've donated over 3 million books since their inception, and they are working hard to increase that number.
This program gave me the chance to see that I could truly bond with some children—but not all— and evoked admiration in me for the young folks who are so talented in helping children and teaching potential helpers like me to do same.
I met Page Ahead thru my work at The Boeing Company 30+ years ago. My group supported a book distribution at a grade school. After the students picked their book, we broke up into small groups of 1 adult and 4 students to do a little reading. I was with a 4th grade class and of the 4 students I read with 2 were good readers, but the other two could barely make it thru a page of their new book. Those two had selected books that were more targeted to 3rd graders. It really broke my heart. How were they going to make it if they can't read. The new book up for summer gives students the pick of 12 books so they have lots of reading material for the summer when they are not in school. It has shown that this program truly helps the students stay up and not drop back over the no school summer.
This is truly a great program. I am proud to say I have been supporting this program since my first reading support trip some 30+ years ago. We additional funding, this program can be spread further across the state of Washington to help more students.
I have been volunteering with Page Ahead for 9 years as a storyteller and it has been a great experience. I keep wanting to volunteer every year because of how much it makes a impact to the students from diverse backgrounds.
I was a little nervous at first, my wife is the one who loves reading to kids. It was my first Page Ahead reading at the Tacoma Art Museum for special needs kids. I read The Monster at the End of the Book by Jon Stone. Sitting up front, I read the title out loud and many already knew about the book. The kids easily became engaged. They asked questions about Grover's color and said that they were not afraid of monsters even though they made funny faces and wanted me to "Turn the page!". It was easier and faster than I thought it would take and I had a great time.
Story Time with my kindergarteners is fulfilling and Page Ahead makes it easy. When I began, I had an orientation that helped me practice with examples of what to say and prepare me for reading to the students.
On Mondays, I drop by the office and I pick up a folder on a subject. There are corresponding art projects, songs,extra books and parent information sheets provided to us to use on our Story Time readings. When I’m in the classroom, I begin with a rhyme or finger play to gain attention. I ask open-ended questions and many are written on the books to keep me on track. The teacher is always in the room with me helping when I need assistance and keeping the kids in line so bad behavior is not an issue. It’s easy to interact with the children that are quick to respond but I try to involve all the children equally.
I love seeing the kids having fun with the books, learning and especially how they grow intellectually through the school year. Plus, I look forward to those Mondays because I really feel awesome afterwards.
this year, I didn’t do a Story Time because my teacher retired. It’s only December, I miss it so much. I forgot how little time it takes- just an hour in the classroom. I’m signing up again next year for Story Time.