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Cool Moms in the Community – Indianapolis Reads

One mom in Indianapolis tells us about a project she started inspired by her 80 year old mother.

My 80 year old mom was the inspiration for a very special project I began. Last year, while I was visiting her, we were talking about her past and her teaching career. We reminisced about how she was able to use some wonderful, creative ways to inspire her children to learn. Her children learned well and really succeeded.

We continued to talk and suddenly she came up with a great idea of what could be done to motivate families to help inspire their children to read. It would be actually a family affair.

After I left her home, I began to think of ways to make her idea become a reality. After a year, I wanted to revisit her idea. Her idea has evolved into a program called “Read to Me.” This is a program that reaches out to teen mothers and fathers to encourage them to read to their young children. The goal is to be able to provide five to six starter books to these families free of charge. We hope that these books and awareness will help encourage reading as a family.

I always knew that this would be a blessing to the teen moms to enjoy reading to their children and to prepare them for school. When I saw an article in my local paper about the percentage of unwed teen moms, it confirmed that what my mom and I are embarking upon will be of help. I knew from reading the article that I may not be able to help with huge issues that these young teens are facing, but there is one that we can help with. My mom and I are able to help in the area of education. These books will be that tool to lead these children in being better prepared when they first walk into a classroom.

It is an ongoing project to always have books on hand to distribute to these young parents. We hope to continue to collect books from our community to be able to distribute them where needed. We are in need of books for pre-k aged-to early elementary aged children. We are always seeking out volunteers to help collect books. We have had many moms donate their children’s gently used books and a social worker from a local school has helped us out as well.

I am hoping that this project will help our teens to understand the value and importance to reading to their children at an early age. I can still hear my son even now as he remembers those precious times when I was able to read to him, even when he requested me reading his favorite books many times over. At fifteen, he treasures that memory.

What inspires me to do this project? I saw a glimmer in my 80 year old mom when she came up with the idea and also in her own special way she is still wanting our children succeed! I, too, am like my mom!

My mom was instrumental in me becoming a teacher years later. However, I have joined her in retirement. I will always believe that even though I have retired from the classroom I will always be working with children. This project has validated that!

I visited my mom and showed her some of the books that were beginning to come to us. She was happy that it was now coming to fruition. Then, she began to think of other ways to get the books out. She will never be released from helping children, either!