I know firsthand that reading aloud to a child can make a difference. Starting back in 1999, I read in the Power Lunch program each week over a three-year period to a young boy named Jamal. Even after he "graduated" from Power Lunch in 4th grade, Jamal and I stayed in touch over the years by phone and then email. Just last week, Jamal and I reunited in-person and I was thrilled to see such a level-headed, well-mannered young man. Not only is Jamal on track to graduate with his high school class next year, but he has already started thinking about where he wants to go to college. Oh yeah, and reading is one of his favorite activities! Of course, Jamal and his mom deserve most of the credit, but I know his interest in keeping in touch with me says a lot about our time together. For me, reading with Jamal has taught me just how important reading to children really is, especially when I had my own children. Reading is a big family activity in our house, and my first-grade son is now an avid, independent reader. We say it all the time, but it is true: When you read with a child, Everybody Wins. Thank you Everybody Wins and Power Lunch.
Rich Greif, National Executive Director