Read Aloud West Virginia was founded in 1987, when my kids were 4 and 1. A couple of years later I became a Read-Aloud volunteer and got a copy of the "Read-Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease.
It opened my eyes to a much bigger, richer world of children's literature.
I gained as much as the children from the authors I explored. We became regular library users. The kids would take home books by the armload, and they developed favorites that they checked out time and again.
If I read aloud my son's beloved but boring book of factoids about the Moon once, I did so a hundred times. Likewise the book that explained plumbing.
More to my liking was my daughter's favorite, "Arabba Gah Zee, Marissa and Me," about best friends playing after school.
My kids also moved on to adult books at tender ages. They are grown now and remain avid readers.
Our family recently expanded with the birth of a granddaughter.
In the newborn's room is a set of shelves already full of books. My son-in-law also has found a suggested reading list with many more titles. It will be a great source of gift ideas.
So it was a happy coincidence this week when an invitation to Seuss-a-Palooza, a Dr. Seuss party for grown-ups and fundraiser for Read Aloud West Virginia, crossed my desk.
The event is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at BrickStreet Insurance at 400 Quarrier Street in downtown Charleston.
The group's excellent Web site,www.readaloudwestvirginia.org, indicates that it uses donations to provide books to young readers. The group also trains volunteer readers and matches them with schools.
If you're interested in donating or reading to a group of students, it's a worthy cause.
If you did nothing more than find some good books and a child or two to serve as an audience, you would have done something pretty great.
The act is simple and enjoyable. The payoff is huge.
Friend is editor and publisher of the Daily Mail. She may be reached at 348-5124 or nan...@dailymail.com.