BAM! stores in WV to donate 10 percent of sales to Read Aloud on Oct. 27

At all Books-a-Million stores in West Virginia on Oct. 27, tell the cashier you want to support Read Aloud West Virginia, and the store will donate 10 percent of the purchase amount to help Read Aloud put books on the minds and in the hands of West Virginia children.

Stores in Barboursville, Beckley, Bluefield, Bridgeport, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Charleston, Vienna and Wheeling are participating in Books-a-Million’s Bookfair Program with Read Aloud for the third time. In Charleston, both stores at Dudley Farms Plaza on Corridor G and in the Charleston Town Center mall are participating.

Read Aloud volunteers will be in stores on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 to answer questions, share information and sign up volunteers.

Continue reading “BAM! stores in WV to donate 10 percent of sales to Read Aloud on Oct. 27”

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

Thank you


Lights! Camera! Read Aloud!

Join us for “Books to the Big Screen: Read-A-Palooza 2018!” Read Aloud West Virginia will go to the cinema to celebrate children’s books that have been adapted into movies, and we hope to see you on the red carpet!

The annual fund/friendraiser will be held Monday, March 19, 2018, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the popular Paterno’s At The Park restaurant in Charleston. In addition to the delicious food and great company, we will have a silent auction filled with wonderful items including artwork, excursions and more—and all of the proceeds will help continue the good works of Read Aloud across the state.

Tickets are $35 each in advance and $40 after March 9, and there are many sponsorship levels available for supporters, as well. Buy tickets online now or call the Read Aloud office at 304-345-5212 for questions or to purchase tickets or sponsorships.


“A perfect fit” – Books-A-Million stores support Read Aloud statewide Oct. 8

By Melody Simpson

PLEASE! On Saturday, Oct. 8, go to your local Books-A-Million store in West Virginia and buy some books! (Or toys, tech, or more, to borrow from their logo, although we strongly lean toward books.) And when asked if you would like the store to donate a percentage of your purchase to Read Aloud, say “YES!”

Last year, Raleigh County Read Aloud connected with its local Books-A-Million store for a book fair in support of Read Aloud West Virginia. The event was the brainchild of Anne-Marie Johnson, the store’s general manager and a Raleigh County Read Aloud board member. Believing that BAM and Read Aloud were a “perfect fit,” Johnson hoped to expand her local effort into an ongoing, statewide partnership.

That partnership is blossoming. Ed Reidy, regional manager for Books-A-Million, agreed to have all BAM stores in his region host an event for Read Aloud (with participation from the Martinsburg store, thanks to manager Scott Brown). Between 10 and 20 percent of each designated purchase will be donated by BAM to Read Aloud West Virginia. Local Read Aloud chapters will have volunteers at store locations during the full-day event, with information about Read Aloud and its programs.

“An event like this is a complete win-win for Books-A-Million and Read Aloud,” Reidy noted. “Both of us want a literate, book-loving citizenry, and this is a great way for us to reach out to customers and a local philanthropic organization in our community.” Reidy hopes this is only the first in what becomes a regular statewide fundraising event for Read Aloud in BAM stores.

So bring your children, your grandchildren, your neighbor’s kids, the soccer team after the game—heck, bring your inner child!—and browse the shelves at your local Books-A-Million. You’ll be happy, your local Books-A-Million store will be happy, and Read Aloud West Virginia will be happy—and very grateful for your support.

Anne-Marie Johnson should be pretty happy, too….

Melody Simpson is an attorney at Bowles Rice LLP, a volunteer reader and member of the Read Aloud board and newsletter committee.