Summer reading program in the works

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By The Staff

Marion County Superintendent Donald Smith is planning for a new summer reading program, which he hopes will help "gap kids" acquire a love for reading.

The program will focus on the four elementary schools and will target 108 specific children, including 21 students from Lebanon Elementary School, 23 students from Calvary Elementary School, 16 students from A.C. Glasscock Elementary School and 48 students from West Marion Elementary School. Smith said he is specifically targeting male students.

According to Smith, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning June 8, volunteers will spend 30 minutes to an hour reading to the selected children.

"My goal is to generate 107 volunteers... and that is a lofty goal," Smith said. "But there are people out there who want to make a difference in someone's life. It's just a matter of putting it out there and tapping into people. It's amazing what people will do if you just ask them."

The summer reading program will take place at the Marion County Public Library and the Marion County Youth Center on Main Street. Smith is still working on finding a location near WMES. He said transportation would be provided if needed.

"I'll work transportation out," he said. "We will pay for that. I know there are bus drivers who can drive during the summer who want to make some extra money. I'm not going to let any of those barriers get in the way."

To volunteer during the summer reading program, call the Marion County Board of Education office at (270) 692-3721.