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Kids Go “Wild about Reading”

About 1,800 children and parents went “Wild about Reading” March 22 at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. For many of these youngsters from lower-income homes, it was an opportunity to explore the museum for the first time while obtaining free children’s books to create a new home library.

“Wild about Reading” is an annual event thatpromotes a love of reading. In school, children first learn to read so they can read to learn. Those who don’t read well by the end of third grade are four times as likely to drop out of school.

More than 5,000 books were distributed during the four-hour “Wild about Reading” event. Showing the children how much fun reading can be were three celebrity readers: Arlington ISD Supt. Dr. Marcelo Cavazos (shown at left above), Congressman Marc Veasey and Fort Worth ISD School Board Trustee Tobi Jackson.

You can work up an appetite while reading, so the children received free snack packs along with their books. Parents received tips on the most effective ways to read to their children at home. The Fort Worth and Arlington Libraries helped people sign up for library cards.

“Wild about Reading” is part of United Way of Tarrant County’s 10-year “Learn Well” education initiative. Lead sponsors of “Wild about Reading” with United Way and the museum this year were Educational First Steps and Frost Bank. Other partners who made the event possible were Arlington Independent School District, Arlington Public Library, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Birdville ISD Parents As Teachers, Boys & Girls Clubs of Arlington, Inc., Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth, BridgesWork, Camp Fire First Texas, Cassata High School, Early Childhood Matters, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Fort Worth Independent School District, Fort Worth Library, Foundation Communities, Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains, Haltom City Library, Odyssey Ink, Strong Fathers Strong Families,  and YWCA of Fort Worth and Tarrant County.