Black men from across DeKalb County and metro Atlanta are needed to read to kids at Toney Valley Elementary School on Feb. 8.
The Decatur school’s annual African-American Male Read-In takes place 8:30 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will read to all 350 students in grades pre-K to fifth grades.
Stanley Bradley, a paraprofessional at the school, says the program offers black men the opportunity to read to students and help celebrate Black History Month and that it’s important for children to see men who look them in the classroom reading to them.
School principal Oliver L. Dean II said African-American fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, and men from the community can participate in the event but they must register by Feb. 6 at www.toneyes.dekalb.k12.ga.us and click on the link for African-American Male Read-In.
Toney Valley Elementary started the African-American Male Read-In, which is in its 12th year, to help motivate children to read. Last year, 30 volunteers read the children.
Bradley says that books are provided for readers, or men can bring their own books.
"If readers bring their own books, they should be age appropriate and feature African-American characters and or authors," Bradley said.
In a letter seeking volunteers, Dean said research shows that children who spend more time reading do better in school.
“The Toney Elementary School staff recognizes the importance of the connection among home, school, and community,” Dean said. “When the school and community come together to highlight the importance of reading, we enlighten our students’ development and broaden their horizons.”
The school will confirm the participation of volunteers who sign up.
Toney Elementary School is at 2701 Oakland Terrace in Decatur. Contact Stanley_Bradley@dekalbschoolsga.org or 678-874-2102 for more information.