Published Sunday, October 07, 2012

Reading improves our children's lives

Editorial

This morning, hundreds of bicycle riders will congregate at the Moreland Mill in the south Coweta town to participate in the annual Lewis Grizzard and Catfish Memorial Bike Ride.

It all begins at 8 a.m. and riders can choose from a 12-mile, a 25-mile and a 100-mile ride through some of the beautiful areas of Coweta County.

All of the money raised in this ride -- named for Coweta’s famous journalist, writer and humorist and his dog -- goes to the local Ferst Foundation, which distributes books monthly to Coweta children under the age of 5.

Ferst is a very special books program in our community because of the importance of reading in the lives of our young children. As the Coweta Ferst Foundation outlines on its website, “Reading regularly with your children during their preschool years gives them the biggest boost toward a successful education they will ever receive. Children who start kindergarten with reading experiences are happier and more successful students all through school.”

The importance of reading to children under the age of 5 cannot be overstated. Their success in school and in life is much greater if they have been exposed to reading.

That said, here is why Ferst efforts to get books into homes is so important: Sixty-one percent of low-income families do not have a single piece of age-appropriate reading material in their home, and 75 percent of Georgia’s students who are poor readers in the third grade will remain poor readers in high school.

We applaud Ferst for its efforts to provide books and get young children exposed to reading. We thank all the bicycle riders for participating in today’s rides and supporting the Ferst effort.

Finally, we would encourage other Cowetans to consider a donation to the Coweta Ferst Foundation. Donations provide books, and books make a diffference in young people’s lives. Find out how to make a donation at the website -- cowetaferst.org -- or mail donations to Coweta Ferst Foundation, P.O. Box 336, Newnan, Ga. 30264.

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