Fall in Love with Reading this Valentine’s Day

Check out these book recommendations for Valentine’s Day!

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli. Mr. Hatch “keeps to himself.” That’s what everybody says. Then one day he gets a surprise package, and a note: “Somebody loves you.” Good for kindergarten through third grade.

Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. Who has left an anonymous note for Nate’s dog Sludge: “I love you, Sludge, more than fudge”? Kindergarten and first graders can puzzle out the answer alongside Detective Nate the Great. 

Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman. OK, not a Valentine’s book, but one for the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, who, among other accomplishments, signed West Virginia into existence. The book is a short, readable biography, but also a thoughtful look at the places Lincoln’s image appears in today’s world. Enjoyable throughout elementary school.

Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda. Famous pop-up picture book artist Robert Sabuda, who appeared at the 2015 West Virginia Book Festival, created paper mosaics to evoke third-century Rome in his story of the original St. Valentine, a healer who sent a secret message to a little girl. Good non-fiction for upper elementary.

Our Annual Fund update: Why we ask

As we near the end of the year, Read Aloud West Virginia is grateful to the many donors, friends and volunteers who support our efforts that motivate children to want to read. We cannot do it without you.

Our Annual Fund drive continues. We are trying to reach goals for next year’s work. If you have not given and are considering, please know:

1. Read Aloud has Neighborhood Investment Program tax credits available. Those credits can be used any time over the next five years, starting with the donation year. They lower a West Virginia personal income tax bill or a corporate net income tax bill by as much as half the gift amount starting with donations of at least $500. Donors may receive no more than $100,000 a year in NIP credits, and credits cannot be used to reduced a tax bill by more than half. That means a $10,000 donation would cut a tax bill by $5,000. A $500 donation would reduce a tax bill by $250.

2. What we are doing is working. First, Read Aloud focuses on motivating children to want to read, not fussing at them to read.

Continue reading “Our Annual Fund update: Why we ask”

Read Aloud’s Annual Fund Drive — Why we ask

Letters will arrive in mailboxes any day now — it’s time for Read Aloud West Virginia’s 2018-2019 Annual Fund drive.

Why does a mostly volunteer organization need to raise money?  Read Aloud’s work, even its very existence, depends on funds provided by our wonderful donors. These contributions enable our staff to support local chapters and grow our program.

While volunteer chapters are the face of Read Aloud in their respective communities, we know from experience that they count on an office and staff to support them. We’ve actually tried it the other way with all volunteers. Read Aloud was founded in 1987 but from 2000-2007, we existed without staff, and the number of chapters fell from 53 to four in that time period.

Read Aloud was re-established with a central office in 2007-2008. Quality and involvement have grown steadily since. Today, we serve more than 200 schools in 31 counties.

That progress would not be possible without our generous donors.

Read Aloud routinely evaluates efforts to make sure we put time, effort and money where they do the most good to help West Virginia children grow into successful readers and students. Over time, our activities have been winnowed down to four broad categories: weekly classroom Read Aloud volunteers, distribution of books, classroom enrichment and public education.

During the last school year, Read Aloud volunteers reached 33,000 students across the state. Imagine 33,000 students, week after week, enjoying new books or old favorites, each student seeing a “live commercial” for reading together, just for fun.

As comments from teachers in this newsletter show, students of all ages look forward to this time and “light up” when their Read Aloud reader enters the room.

That is what our donors make possible.

That is why the letters are on their way, to encourage you to consider making a donation to help us continue the work of getting books in the hands and on the minds of West Virginia’s children.

Thank you for reading and for being a Read Aloud supporter.

We have Neighborhood Investment Tax Credits available while they last.

Checks can be made payable to:

Read Aloud West Virginia
P.O. Box 1784
Charleston, WV 25326

Questions? Call 304-345-5212 or email readaloud@frontier.com

Thank you


Library Commission show to feature Read Aloud during week of Oct. 1, 2018

The West Virginia Library Commission will feature Read Aloud West Virginia’s work on a program that will air during the first week of October on Channel 17 for Suddenlink customers in Kanawha and Putnam counties.

“Libraries Today” airs regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.; on Wednesdays and Fridays at 4:30 a.m.; and Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

The video will also be available on the Library Commission’s YouTube Channel.

Read Aloud can offer WV NIP tax credits! Get ‘em while they last

Read Aloud West Virginia can once again offer West Virginia Neighborhood Investment Program (NIP) tax credits to qualifying donors. The benefit reduces a donor’s state personal income tax bill or corporate net income tax bill by as much as half of the gift amount.

Donations of at least $500 qualify for the NIP credit and help us pursue our mission to motivate children across the state to want to read. With your help, we are changing the literacy climate in West Virginia.

Donations made by Dec. 31, 2018 can qualify for credits to apply to taxes due in 2019, but credits are limited and offered for as long as they are available.

The tax credit may be applied in one year, or during the next five years. Individuals are limited to receiving no more than $100,000 in NIP credits in a single year.

Proposed changes in federal tax policy could reduce the effect of the state credit on federal taxes related to donations made after Aug. 27, 2018, but state rules are unchanged.

Donors may give online, or make checks payable to Read Aloud West Virginia and send them to Read Aloud West Virginia, P.O. Box 1784, Charleston WV 25326.

For more information about NIP tax credits or anything else, please call Read Aloud at (304) 345-5212, or email Executive Director Mary Kay Bond at readaloud@frontier.com. Thank you.

Carter Family Foundation and City National Bank support Read Aloud

Read Aloud is most grateful to the Carter Family Foundation and City National Bank of West Virginia for funds they recently gave to support our Book Distribution Program.

The Book Distribution program sponsored by Read Aloud West Virginia continues to grow and provide West

Virginia’s children with access to high interest reading material. Research shows that access matters.

Just as access to a basketball and hoop are essential to building basketball skills, access to books and magazines are necessary to building reading skills.

Thank you, Carter Family Foundation and City National Bank, for enabling Read Aloud to reach even more children with high-quality reading material!