Give A Child A Book


Literacy nonprofit helps thousands improve reading skills

Traveling Stories.jpg
Posted at 4:58 PM, Sep 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-06 20:27:54-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The power of picking up a book and enjoying the story inside is something very special for Traveling Stories.

Since the nonprofit started almost 14 years ago, they’ve helped 7,000 kids in San Diego improve their reading.

Kayla Moberly is one child working to improve her reading skills, one word at a time alongside her mentors.

“When I get stuck on a word, they help me and that really made me love reading more," said Moberly.

The program targets low-income students to empower them to reach their dreams.

“We really believe and the research shows that if children can read by fourth grade, they are so much more likely to finish high school, to be gainfully employed, and to engage in their community. It’s like one of the biggest predictors of future success," she said.

Emily Moberly is the founder of Traveling Stories.

She said the idea for the program sparked more than 2,200 miles away from San Diego.

“I started this program back in 2010. I had just come back from Honduras where I was a teacher and I had students in high school who had never read for fun. They had only ever read textbooks. As a book nerd myself, I felt that was kind of sad," said Moberly.

Typically, the program is virtual. Readers like Kayla spend some time once a week reading to their mentors.

Kayla is in third grade and thinks the program has improved her reading.

“So, the program is that you read a book to your mentors and then she gives you book bucks," she explained.

Book Bucks is the reward readers get from their mentors after reading to ultimately pick out prizes for their hard work.

Mentors said it is great to know they are helping kids gain a skill that will impact them for the rest of their lives.

“It’s great to know that I helped improve someone’s life. It’s great to know that I helped someone learn to read," she said.

Today, Moberly and Traveling Stories has impacted more than 7,000 kids who are now coming back to serve as mentors for the next generation of readers.

The mentors said it’s worth every moment.

“It’s kind of a full circle moment, I think, for everyone because it's like, ‘I used to struggle here, but now I’m helping you in my own way.' It’s just so rewarding that way,” said Moberly.

Traveling Stories is always looking for volunteers to get involved.