Saturday, April 7, 2012

Giving Back: BookPALS

Years ago, when I had the acting bug, a teacher told me about the opportunity to give back by volunteering with BookPALS, a program run through the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG). BookPAL volunteers visit elementary schools and read aloud children's books to students. So I signed up for this. I'd check out picture books and riddle guides from the library and once a week, I'd read to a wonderful third-grade class at my old elementary school. The kids loved my riddles and knock-knock jokes. They also loved it when I was read a picture book with dramatic flair. It made my day to have such a warm and receptive young audience and to know I was giving back to my community. I still remember my BookPAL experience quite fondly.

For anyone who's interested in opportunities to read picture books aloud to young children, I encourage you to check out BookPALS and see if there's a branch near you to offer support. At the time I joined, I don't  remember any requirement that a volunteer had to actually be an actor to participate in the program.   

Feel free to share about stuff you've done, past or present, to give back.


Laura Marcella said...

Hello, Cynthia! BookPALS is such a wonderful idea. I'll have to look into it in my area. Thanks for getting the word out.

By the way, your blog's name is super clever!! Love it!

Hope you have a great weekend and happy A to Z!

Kathleen Valentine said...

That is a wonderful program. Thank you.

Lynn Proctor said...

what a much needed service--thank you for sharing this!

Nick Wilford said...

I'm not sure if this is in the UK, but it sounds like a great idea. I did give a talk on my writing to my stepdaughter's primary school class. Hopefully I inspired them, but I had my daughter with me who was two at the time so I think she distracted them somewhat!

Sarah Pearson said...

What a fantastic idea. As with Nick above, I'll have to see if we have something similar going in the UK.

Heather M. Gardner said...

I've never heard of that. Wonderful information.

M said...

Great idea! I teach kindergarten and it is all about how the book is read....and you know when you have done a great job because as soon as the last page is turned they shout out, "READ IT AGAIN!"

As for giving back, I support Make-A-Wish and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and other charities that help with childhood cancers as my daughter is a survivor.

Happy A-Z April!

Cynthia said...

Laura- I also like the name Wavy Lines.

Kathleen- You're welcome!

Lynn- I think children do appreciate being read to.

Nick- It must've been fun to talk about your work with a young audience.

Sarah- I'd be curious to know if there's something like this where you are.

Heather- You're welcome!

M- Thank you for sharing this with me. I wish you and your daughter the best.

Margo Berendsen said...

I will definitely need to check into this at some point! Right now I am booked (ha ha unintended pun) up reading to my children at bed time, but when those days are past, I will need to find a new creative outlet!

Aurora Celeste said...

That sounds like a great organization, thanks for highlighting it!

Aurora Celeste

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