The award comes with a donation, made in the recipient’s name, to a non-profit organization chosen by the recipient. Dr. Foster chose Read Aloud West Virginia.
In his remarks at the award luncheon, Dr. Foster talked about his mother and how she shared her love of reading with him. He pointed out that both the YMCA and Read Aloud have an impact on the lives of children.
Read Aloud West Virginia seeks to improve West Virginia’s literacy rates and educational attainment by motivating children to WANT to read. Read Aloud’s research based programs — Volunteer Readers, Book Distribution, Public Education and Classroom Enrichment — put books in the hands and on the minds of West Virginia’s children.
The 501(c)(3) organization also raises community awareness regarding the importance of reading to children from infancy into adolescence and the value of providing children with a print-rich environment. During the past school year, Read Aloud distributed more than 8,300 books and placed 1,113 volunteers in over 1,652 classrooms across 30 counties in West Virginia.
These volunteers serve as live commercials for reading. The readers are also important role models who allow children to experience the joy of reading and, in so doing, motivate them to become proficient readers. Once equipped with this essential skill, students experience more success in all subject areas and are better prepared for a promising future. Students who develop good reading skills tend to go further in school, to have higher lifetime earnings and even to enjoy better health.
Read Aloud thanks the YMCA for recognizing Dr. Dan Foster’s service and commitment to the Kanawha Valley. The organization is tremendously grateful to be allowed to share in Dr. Foster’s honor as his non-profit designee. Recognition from those so dedicated and accomplished as Dr. Foster and the YMCA strengthens our own commitment to serving our mission in the Kanawha Valley.
Among the many congratulatory messages compiled for the booklet printed for the August award ceremony was this one from the John L. and Maude H. Dickinson Family:
“Thank you for making West Virginia your home and for making our community a better place to live.”