TribeFest Service Project, Post 2

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Detroiters at the service project

March is literacy month. Here at Tribefest we are engaging in a service project to promote literacy at the 2nd and 3rd grade level at Clark County Public Schools. This is a critical age and really the tipping point that will make or break the path of a child.

Today we had the chance today to be a positive voice in a child’s life. Yes we sat together and read Frog and Toad, but we were doing so much more …  giving positive reinforcement, helping to build confidence, and showing that learning is fun.

Clark County has more than 300,000 kids most of Hispanic or Latino dissent. This is a public school system where the minority is the majority. With the help of PJ Library (pjlibrary.org), a Jewish family engagement program that mails free high quality Jewish children’s books and music to families across North America, we were able to give hundreds of kids a backpack filled with books of their very own. The reality is that these books might be the only ones these kids have to call their own.

Youth literacy is not just a focus in Las Vegas.  Last week the Detroit Women’s Department Tikkun Olam Volunteers (TOV) went to Bagely Elementary School in Detroit to sit one-on-one with kindergartners and read books out loud.

Countless studies have shown that reading to children not only helps them actually learn to read, it also builds self confidence, fosters imagination, spurs curiosity and triggers an inquisitive nature.  These are all characteristics that can propel a child to success in the classroom and beyond.

Today, we had the opportunity to be perhaps the one person who empowers a child and helps to change their self-image.  As Jews, we are charged with Tikkun Olam and this collection of Jews at TribeFest is helping to not only repair, but also change the world.

Kelli Saperstein is blogging from TribeFest in Las Vegas. Check back often for more updates.

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