May 27, 2016

Martin Luther King Day

In honor of Martin Luther King Day (January 16), YMCA READS! participants and volunteers partnered with United Through Reading to assemble eight kits containing video cameras, tripods, DVDs, children’s books, cards and letters of support, and small gifts for troops being deployed overseas. Service men and women will be given the opportunity to be recorded on camera while reading a story to their children from afar in celebration of Dr. King’s birthday, and their families will be recorded enjoying the story at home so that their deployed loved ones can see their reactions.

Families and service men and women will be able to keep the recorded stories and books as keepsakes of a time when they were able to remain “united through reading” even during a difficult separation.

We’re grateful to the 3,000 volunteers who wrote letters, assembled kits, collected donations of books and morale-boosting items.

To join us in celebrating Dr. King’s birthday in your family, you might want to look for one of these books:

Martin’s Big Words, by Doreen Rappaport which puts some of Dr. King’s biggest ideas into a story children understand and relate to.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, a Caldecott Award winner which just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Amazing Grace, by Mary Hoffman about a young girl’s struggle to push boundaries.

For more great ideas visit Reading Rockets’ suggested reading list for Black History Month.