by Judy Bralley

20170504_094415The Unity in the Community Volunteer Readers of Unity East of Atlanta have just completed a pre-K classroom reading project, in partnership with the Rockdale County Public School System (RCPS).

The project for the 2016-2017 school year served 342 pre-K students in each of the 13 Rockdale County Elementary School’s 16 pre-K classrooms.

Unity in the Community Volunteer Readers read a book to the students then gave each one a book to take home with them, complete with a bookplate, stating who gave the book to the child, and space for the child’s name, and a bookmark. Funding for the books was provided by grants from local organizations.

20170504_100600_resizedJudy Bralley, leader of the five-person group of volunteers, said, “Not only did I personally have phenomenal experiences with each classroom I visited, but had nothing but reports of fun and rewarding times from each of the other volunteers.”

Shauna Miller, Rockdale County Public Schools Early Learning Coordinator stated, “Working with the volunteers from Unity in the Community has been a wonderful experience for our staff, families, and students. Families have been excited to receive a new book for their home library and the children are beaming to receive books. Teachers have enjoyed having people from the community share an interest with the students in their classroom. The reading project has been engaging and exciting for all pre-k students in Rockdale County Public Schools, and the enthusiasm the volunteers have for reading is contagious.”

Amber Montgomery, pre-K teacher at Rockdale Career Academy said, “It is so delightful to have people from the community working with our students and showing them a love for reading.”

Kimberly Tomlinson, pre-K teacher at Barksdale Elementary School added, “I appreciate the experience for my students. The children were very excited and the visit went very well.”

Plans are already being made to resume this project for the 2023-2018 school year.  A wonderfully fun and rewarding community connection has been established. Thank you to everyone involved.