We have been thinking of you and your communities throughout the last month as we heard of torrential rains, floods, road washouts, mudslides, evacuations, sheer winds and tornadoes in multiple areas of the state. We know that several of our participating clinics were flooded, along with their entire towns. Superficial cleanup has been astounding, but real recovery will take time.
Perhaps, now, you have a few extra moments to let us know your situation and needs:
- Were your clinics damaged?
- Did you lose book inventory?
- Do you have many families who lost homes, including all the books in their homes?
- Will your usual book funding sources be diverted to emergency relief efforts?
- How are the children in your community faring?
- We know of at least one school system that delayed the start of school – acknowledging that the children were too traumatized by loss of homes and sense of normalcy to focus on academics.
Please remind your families that books not only build better brains, they build better bonds. Sharing stories, even without a book in hand, develops and reinforces strong, comforting, nurturing parent-child relationships. These relationships act as protective shields for children living through natural disaster.
Reach Out and Read Wisconsin functions on an extremely tight budget. However, what we lack in a financial cushion, we make up for in the strength of our collaborative network, interest in sharing your stories and unstoppable, creative, problem-solving energies.
Please tell us of your needs and/or send pictures if possible. We may be able to offer some assistance.
Here’s wishing for a month of clearer skies.
Karin Mahony and the Reach Out and Read Wisconsin team