Masons across Texas are discovering the many rewards of reading to youngsters. As part of the Take Time To Read program, Texas Masons are teaming up with their local libraries and schools to read to children, collect books through book drives, and reap the rewards of glowing eyes, smiling faces, and eager listeners.
Take Time To Read is being practiced in more than 200 of the 900 Lodges across the state, including Blanco.
"This is the most successful program by participation we've ever had," said Brian Dodson, chair of the special projects committee for the statewide program. "Lodges across the nation, including three other Grand Lodges, have asked about the program, and Scottish Rite organizations, Rainbow, and other community groups are taking part."
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is co-sponsoring the program with the Grand Lodge of Texas. "We have a long history of working together successfully on programs for children," said Elizabeth Cantrill, outreach coordinator for the Luke Waites Child Development Center at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. "We help provide the knowledge of the importance and benefits of reading aloud to children, while Masons are the experts on actively lending support. The best way to blanket the state with the message is to get the Masons involved."
Reading experts agree that reading aloud to children may be one of the most important things adults can do to prepare kids for success in school. Their vocabulary is enriched, they learn new information, and the experiences of their world are expanded. Being read to can create a love for books and generate a desire to read.