Get Caught Reading 2


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Here’s a confession for you: I used to never read for pleasure. Sure, I love books. I would buy them, but never read them. I had to read loads in college, but I would only read a book or two a year for pleasure (if that many). I have never read the classics that are usually required reading in high school: To Kill a Mockingbird, Fahrenheit 451, The Grapes of Wrath, A Tale of Two Cities, or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

After working at The Literacy Center for six months, I had an epiphany. Or maybe it was an overwhelming feeling of guilt. Either way, I knew that I took reading for granted.

As many as 18,000 adults in Vanderburgh County alone don’t read well enough to read and understand a newspaper. That’s about 1 in 5 adults. That number is huge. That number is so huge, it’s sickening to think about. And I didn’t read by choice.

After I realized how ridiculous it was for me to take my reading skills for granted, I decided to do the EVPL Summer Reading Program. In the summer of 2013 I read five novels. That may not seem like many, but bear in mind that I had been averaging less than one book a year for my entire life! I was so proud of myself for reading so many books.

The next year, I decided that I would read seven books. I had seven read by Mother’s Day 2014. I ended up reading a total of 28 books in 2014!

In 2015, I’ll admit that I’m not doing so well. We took the Netflix plunge in our house, so I keep getting distracted by House of Cards. As good as Kevin Spacey is, I’m not okay with this.  But I’m hopeful for the near future.

You see, I got a hammock for Mother’s Day. Those of you who know me well, know that being outside in any capacity (as long as it’s at least 60 degrees!)  is one of my favorite things. The best day off would include lounging in the hammock with my Nook. I have quite the “To Read” list on Goodreads.

Starting today, and continuing until it’s too cold to be outside, you can catch me reading in my backyard. I challenge all of you to do the same. Dedicate just 30 minutes a day, or even 30 minutes a week (I get it- being an adult is busy), to escape the harsh realities of adulthood and get caught reading. Don’t waste this precious skill.

Courtney Keating, Education Coordinator 


Get Caught Reading


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I read in many ways. The last book I listened to was, Yes Please by Amy Poehler.  I love to listen to books when I drive. The next book for listening will be Bossypants by Tina Fey. It is in my Audible app, ready to cue up. My pile of books to read is tall and the one on top is Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John Maxwell.  In my Kindle is the book Branding Yourself- How to Utilize Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself Edition 2 by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy it is ready to go. I haven’t got a book for my nook yet. I want a book for fun so I think I will go with a recent recommendation, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

The chance you will catch me reading is pretty good because as I started this blog, I read in many ways. May is Get Caught Reading month. I love this concept because it is about reminding us how fun it is to read. I love a book I can have fun with. We read for more than fun, we read to learn, to comprehend and function. Our typical student is literacy challenged. This is when reading isn’t easy or fun, hence, literacy challenged. To function on a day to day basis requires reading; think about your average day, how often are you reading? Take note.  The Literacy Center is for all adults who are literacy challenged and the chance that you know someone who has difficult reading is pretty good. That someone is hiding it from you by ordering the same thing you do at a restaurant, forgetting their glasses or changing the subject. What can you do to stop them from hiding? I’m not sure. But if you #CetCaughtReading it might be a way to start a conversation and say something like,

“A lot of people need help with reading and writing.”


“There is a program that helps people improve their reading and writing.”


“There is a program that helps parents help their children with their homework and that helps parents read better.”


Help us break the cycle of illiteracy and get caught reading. Contact us today to find out about the exciting things happening this summer at The Literacy Center.

Jennifer Wigginton


P.S.  You can support our program when you purchase on Amazon Smile.

National Poetry Month is National Poetry month.  Poetry is something most have tried at one time or another because it is part of our education system.  I’m not brave enough to share my own poems mainly because I wrote them back in college and I can’t find them.  Poetry is something a few of our students try but like me sharing it isn’t something they jump at the opportunity to do.

Instead I just want to share two poems by Shel Silverstein, my favorite poet.  I think he is my favorite because of a high school theater production I was in where our teacher made up a production with a lot of his material.

Whatif by Shel Silverstein

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I’m dumb in school?
Whatif they’ve closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don’t grow talle?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won’t bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!

God’s Wheel by Shel Silverstein

GOD says to me with a kind
of smile, “Hey how would you like
to be God awhile And steer the world?”
“Okay,” says I, “I’ll give it a try.

Where do I set?
How much do I get?
What time is lunch?
When can I quit?”

“Gimme back that wheel,” says GOD.
“I don’t think you’re quite ready YET.”


So… ‘Whatif’ you aren’t ready YET, give it a try this month anyway.

Reading Aloud

courtneyand elliot
My daughter, Elliott, has had been read to since she was in the womb. My husband, Jacob, and I attended Indiana University when I was pregnant. We spent our Sunday afternoons doing homework at the dining room table and taking turns reading our textbooks to my enormous belly.

Reading to Elliott was never an option. After she was born, we read anything that had words: newspapers, restaurant menus, billboards, and books. As Elliott grew, books became just as important in our daily lives as water. There wasn’t a day that passed that we didn’t read to Elliott. It even progressed to her sleeping cuddled up with a book, as opposed to a stuffed animal (although she eventually got one of those too!)

Our goal for Elliott wasn’t necessarily to become a good reader or to love books. We just wanted some time with her-no TV, no phones, and no distractions. It was just the three of us hanging out on the bed and reading up to three books a night.

A few months before Elliott turned three, I could see how our actions helped her develop. She grabbed a book that we had read, what seemed like millions of times, and started to recite it. She had memorized the book. I couldn’t believe it. Weeks later, she told us she wanted to learn to read. We began teaching her sight words and how to blend. Now she is five, and for fun we play book club and have spelling tests (these are her ideas, not mine!)

We all want the best for our children, right? We want them to be able to accomplish anything they want. There is a single action that parents can do that will give their child every tool they need to do anything. Read to them.

Reading to your kids will:

  • Allow you to spend uninterrupted time together
  • Increase his or her vocabulary. Hearing more words spoken can only help increase your child’s vocabulary
  • Expose your child to new ideas and cultures. Books have exposed Elliott to a variety of animals. She can tell you some random facts about marmots, thanks to books!
  • Foster essential life skills, such as making connections and critical thinking.

The great thing about reading with your children, is it’s never too late to start! So, start tonight!