How many of us have fallen head-over-heels for a book? There is nothing like joy that comes from the emotions and relationships between characters, the sights and sounds of a new fictional world, the magnitude of historic moments in our history, or the chance to explore the tiniest mysteries of this planet through the eyes of scientists.
But for so many people, young and old, these opportunities are just a dream. Whether it is lack of access, or the inability to navigate the letters on the page, too many people struggle to read a newspaper, a report from their doctor or the label on their food.
Every year United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County makes investments in programs like these that support both child and adult literacy:
- Learning Centers - Children First/Communities in Schools
- Youthful Hand Afterschool - Housing Authority of Asheville
- Augustine Project - Literacy Council of Buncombe County
- Read to Succeed - Read to Succeed Asheville
- 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Project RISE, and Summer Discovery - YMCA
- MotherLove - YWCA
We've also started an annual event that puts books directly in the hands of local students. 5,750 books - that's how many books people like you have put in the hands of Buncombe County youth in the last three years through our annual Holiday Book Drive. The value of last year's drive ALONE was valued at $33,679. That's an impressive community contribution!
Our community has lots of ways to help others read.
One visit to our volunteer website, handsonasheville.org, using the keyword search "reading" reveals more than a dozen volunteer opportunities. Among the opportunities listed; you can serve as a GED tutor at AB-Tech, work with young children through the Literacy Council's Augustine Project, sort through donated books for the POP Project and aid in their distribution to local prisons, community centers and senior living centers. Check out your options and bring the joy of reading to someone else today and, if you haven't seen the incredible video by our local partner at The Literacy Council of Buncombe County, check it out below.