Many adults can recall a moment in their childhood when they were read to by a teacher, parent, or volunteer. And most can attest to that experience creating a positive influence on their lives. Pasteur Elementary, an Urban Initiatives Work to Play school, was lucky to have a team of volunteers pay a visit for their 2nd Annual Read-A-Thon. Urban Initiatives, Chicago Fire, and 13th Ward Alderman Marty Quinn all brought out volunteer readers.
The event served 1,100 students from grades 3rd-6th. “Diary of a Fourth Grade Nothing”, “Welcome to the Dead House”, and “The Green Caterpillar” grabbed the children’s imagination. During each twenty minute block, there were Q & A discussions about the settings, characters, and plot. The students were very engaged and extremely polite to our volunteers.
“The children are very excited about the program,” beamed Mr. Contreras, Principal of Pasteur Elementary. “And we want you all to know that you are now a part of our community.”
This event also allowed Urban Initiatives to further promote programming for the upcoming season and recruit mentor coaches. Coach Anthony answered questions and passed out Nike rubber bands to the students. When he entered Ms. Mulchrone’s 3rd grade class, Taylor shouted “That’s my Coach!” The entire class was excited and eagerly anticipated the end of the story so that they could ask him about the Spring Season.
Before wrapping up, volunteers donated their favorite childhood books to the Library. “The Little Engine That Could”, “Curious George”, and “The Berenstein Bears” received honorable mention from the faculty. Upon leaving, the volunteers reflected on what a wonderful experience it was to read to the children and how much they would love to be able to do it again.
There is a saying that “Reading is fundamental.” We at Urban Initiatives are all about the fundamentals, and not just with soccer. Our kids learn that the fundamentals to academics and character are the key to a healthy and successful life. Whether it’s with the Read-A-Thon or the Work to Play Program, Urban Initiatives is thrilled to collaborate with Pasteur Elementary – a school that so values the fundamentals!