Friday, January 3, 2014
Freedom Readers in Georgetown
Christmas Day’s hopeful letter highlighting the large percent of people in the United States who volunteer reminded me strongly of the sturdy underpinning of good I’ve discovered in Georgetown, of people willing to step up and help in the areas of need.
Quietly, without a great deal of fanfare, five sites have opened in Georgetown County, staffed with dedicated volunteers, to promote early childhood literacy in low income communities.
The hurdles with respect to creating strong readers in the children of our outlying neighborhoods mostly aren’t complicated or insurmountable. Those neighborhoods simply have fewer resources available, the kinds of things most people take for granted — ready access to a variety of colorful, engaging books, grown-ups with the time to sit and read with a child for an hour or two, available tutors to help with the occasional stumbling block. The children are bright and eager, and their parents are focused on helping their children succeed. The missing ingredients are small, but vital.
Working in conjunction with the sturdy, faithful support of Georgetown Outreach Ministries, Inc., Freedom Readers is moving to address those missing ingredients. In each of 5 sites in Georgetown County, up to 20 adults sit individually with children one day a week and simply read together. The volunteers show a level of commitment to their cause which is laudable, and needed — consistency is a critical component of creating proficiency in reading.
Freedom Readers isn’t operating in a vacuum. Their work would not be possible without the help of Georgetown Outreach Ministries, Inc., the Bunnelle Foundation, the United Way, the Georgetown Literacy Council, and the hundred or so volunteers who put their shoulders to the wheel and work for the good of Georgetown’s youngest citizens — investing in the human capital of Georgetown’s children. Georgetown can be rightly proud of the spirit of volunteerism which lives and thrives in its borders, and the way its organizations work together to maximize the good.
Interim Executive Director, Freedom Readers
Thank you police
Last week my father-in-law, who suffers from dementia, slipped out from his assisted living facility before daybreak.
The staff immediately contacted the authorities, as well as the family, when they realized what had happened.
After a two-hour period, he was found safely thanks to the acts of a good Samaritan and others.
I was so impressed with the professionalism of the police, sheriff and fire departments.
During stressful times we often have negative thoughts or comments about how our protectors function, but I can only give positive praises to all authorities involved.
The people of Georgetown should feel that they are being well-served.
Paul H. Duncan