Exploring San DiegoCommunityIf You Give a Child a Book


Local nonprofit "Words Alive" makes reading fun for kids

Posted at 7:22 PM, Nov 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-29 22:22:44-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Local nonprofit "Words Alive" is spreading the love of reading, one page at a time. The group gives out 31,000 books a year, for a single mission.

"I think it's really important to get kids to love to read," said Volunteer Bobby Felix.

Volunteers like Felix make Words Alive a reality by reading to kids in more than 100 classrooms around San Diego County.

"I taught at colleges, and I had a lot of adults tell me they didn't like to read, or they never read. That impacted not only their schooling obviously, but living day to day," said Felix. "I thought as much as I like teaching adults, you got to catch them early."

It's an experience that pays off inside the classroom, and out.

"It opened up a whole world of not only people, but also locations," said Felix. "But I think, too, you get to empathize with people that you don't normally meet."

Words Alive has a map of every school where it sends volunteers, with a flag on each school. The group wants the number of flags to grow, because nearly half of local students fail to read at their grade level.

"When I was reading to the first-graders, there were children in those classes who had never been read to in their homes," said Volunteer Mary Tibiatowsky.

The solution may be as simple as a good story.

"When they get a really good book, it really lets them know that they have abilities they didn't think they had," said Felix.

Words alive is always looking for more volunteers and donations. If you're interested, check out their website.