“Think globally, and act locally” is my favorite slogan to help people. Bad things happen in our world. The current opioid crisis epidemic is a current major tragedy in my region, and kids get hit hard.
West Point, California has serious substance issues coupled with poverty. Its median annual income level is under $15, 000. Many of our one hundred elementary students daily show up at school early because the school offers free breakfast and lunch programs. Most students show up for both meals every day.
Alcohol also takes down families around here, the same as when I grew up with drunk parents in another part of California. Generations of drugs or alcohol dysfunction means kids like me and kids in West Point need coping tools to better understand they did not cause, can’t control or cure abuse.
Calaveras County and the School District also tries to help West Point by providing students with free library resources, like computers and books. Less than five parents represent their children in the school’s parent group, so caring elders make books a priority. Students can choose books for themselves.
Reading saved me as a kid. I want to share my reading passion so children know that fiction and non-fiction can broaden the world and help our minds get outside of our tiny town.
This week, a three-day book fair at our school happens for the first time in over twelve years. I was asked to promote the book fair at a student assembly, and it was thrilling. Hopefully kids and parents will come and buy books, and our tiny fair will break even.
If we don’t promote reading, nobody else will. Our group donates a free book to every student, so they have something of their own.
Surprisingly, one hundred students were thrilled to hear about the three day fair. They were curious about books, and hopefully they will be excited to explore and collect their book gift.
Think locally, act locally simply works. Turning my passion toward reading may make a difference.