Who exactly are the Elks? They are a fraternal order, emphasizing a belief in God, charity, love and faithfulness, and they commit to quicken the spirit of American patriotism, invest in their communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, meet the needs of today’s veterans, and improve the quality of life.
On Saturday, February 17, the Elks Lodge of Pendleton is investing in the community by ensuring that children have books. This act encourages literacy and a love for books, while demonstrating the importance of reading. My gratitude to the Elks of Pendleton for partnering with me to offer free books to children in the Pendleton area is beyond expression. Teaching children to dream, make a plan and watch their dreams come true is my overarching goal, and another goal is sharing this message with children in person. Not many opportunities are comparable to the joy found from watching those little eyes across the table as I sign and personalize a message to a child as she awaits her crisp, new copy of What Is That Stinky, Winky Eeewww Smell? or her brother awaits BJ’s Big Dream.
I'm also inviting readers to assist me in making America (children in particular) read again. Rather than playing video and computer games, watching TV, using social media, conferencing and texting, or focusing all spare time on athletics, let's direct our youth back to books to fill the time when they aren't engaging in physical activity. If your children have robust libraries at home, that is wonderful. If they are reading those books, that’s superb. Now, let’s concentrate on those who live in book desserts.
For children living without age appropriate, culturally relevant books at home, we can encourage library memberships. Additionally, my last blog discussed several other programs to push books into the community. Visit www.BJsBigDream.com.
Whether you bring your child, a grand or a neighbor’s child, join The Elks and me on Saturday, February 17th from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Pendleton Library. Free books will be available while supplies last. Additionally, we will serve light refreshments, and offer door prizes, readings with the children, and parent sessions to enhance their child’s literacy skills. Please help spread the word, and join me in appreciating the Elks Lodge of Pendleton.