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Read One Program readers can fight illiteracy, win prizes
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013 7:31 PM

From Staff Reports

PAULDING – The Paulding Progress is teaming up with the Paulding County Carnegie Library to point out the importance of battling illiteracy in the local community by taking part in the Read One Program, Oct. 1-31.

The project began in 2011 in Van Wert County, but now eight newspapers and library systems in Ohio and Indiana are taking part in the program.

Approximately one in five U.S. adults (21%) cannot read above the fourth grade level and are considered functionally illiterate. Illiteracy also translates to a higher likelihood of needing food stamps or earning below the poverty level. A person who is functionally illiterate is also more likely to end up in jail or be on welfare. (See last week’s article for more on the importance of literacy.)

The Van Wert Times Bulletin started the Read One Program to point out the value of literacy.

“Too many of our young people and adults struggle economically and sociologically because of the inability to read at a functional level and this is something we can all work to change,” said Progress publisher Doug Nutter.

It is easy for Paulding County residents to take part in the Read One Program.

Simply choose at least one book to read during the month of October. At the end of the month, email the title of the book(s) and the author(s), the reader’s contact information and whether the reader is a student or adult, to progress@progressnewspaper.org or drop your title or list by the Progress offices or at the Paulding County Carnegie Library or any of its branches.

In the first week of November, all of the titles will be compiled and a list will be published in an edition of the newspaper and online. The name of the reader will not be published.

Participants will automatically be entered into a drawing to win one of two free one-year print or online subscriptions to the Progress. One prize will be award to an adult participant, and one for a student participant will be awarded to the student’s school classroom.

During the first year of the program in Van Wert County, a total of 49 different titles read, but that number jumped to 114 in the second year. Even more encouraging were the number of YA and children’s books involved as parents took the time to make sure their children participated by being read to or reading themselves.

To start off October and the Read One Program on the right foot, the Paulding County Carnegie Library will be providing a list of the most checked out books in several categories; check our website and next week’s Progress.

Library staff members are ready to help readers make the perfect selection.

“We can recommend a lot of wonderful titles – I can guarantee we will find a book that will interest even the ‘reluctantest’ (is that a word?) of readers,” said library director Susan Pieper.

For library hours and more information on the county’s library system, visit www.pauldingcountylibrary.org.