The Kiwanis Club has diligently worked the Reading is Fun (RIF) program three times per year. Many area parents learn about the program when their child comes home, proudly holding out a book and announcing, “Look what I got today!” The students choose their own book from a wide array of age appropriate titles and interests, put their name in it and receive a free bookmark. The RIF program is in its 47th year and, most likely, this past Monday was its last. The government funded program could very easily be a victim of across the board spending cuts.
On this day, Diana Pagach read to a group of young students. After the reading and a brief question and answer period, Diana led the children to several tablesfilled with books. Diana, along with Gayle Thawley, hand-pick books suited to each grade level, kindergarten through fifth. Kiwanians Dennis Pidherny and Bob DeFeo assisted with checking off the books and handing out the bookmarks.
Dennis and Bob explained, “It takes about six days to set-up and go through each class. The Marco Island Kiwanis Club does Tommie Barfield and Manatee Elementary Schools. We will be looking for ways to keep this program going even if it is in a limited form. On a trip to Manatee recently, one little girl held out her newest prize possession and proclaimed; ‘now I have two books!’ That shows the impact of RIF. The program reinforces the importance of reading. We will have to see what we can do as a club to keep the program going.”