Librarian Melanie Obertine and St. John's Catholic School students are all smiles as they receive 80+ books donated by the Napa Valley Republican Women Federated (CA) as part of its children's literacy reading program.
Possessing the ability to read and write is fundamental. It makes learning possible, inevitable and infinite. For this reason, fostering literacy has long been a priority of the National Federation of Republican Women, and several literacy programs have been developed to achieve this goal.
Over the past 50 years, the NFRW and its members have donated thousands of books each year to libraries, schools, hospitals and other public institutions through our Mamie Eisenhower Library Project (MELP). Since 2002, Federation members have donated more than 300,000 dictionaries to school children through the Dictionary Project.
The NFRW has designated September as Literacy Month. Working in concert with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, the NFRW asks Republican women's clubs to participate by sharing the community literacy projects they have sponsored in the past year. Suggested activities and projects are provided by the NFRW Literacy Committee.
The Red Shoe Book Club is a way for local clubs to explore and discuss books, and publish book reviews in monthly newsletters and on club websites. To form a Red Shoe Book Club, participants should designate a time and place and select books from the MELP lists to read, discuss and share. Related materials, including the Red Shoe Book Club logo (which can be used on club promotional materials), are available in the Member Center Digital Resource Library.
With our commitment to literacy, we have adopted education as one of our primary issue focuses. Our goal is to improve public education and literacy by advocating grassroots support for education reform and taking direct action to improve literacy. We use our network of members to promote high standards, accountability, flexibility, local control of schools, and early reading initiatives.
Whether donating a book, volunteering to mentor or read to children, or acting as a literacy/education advocate, each of us has something of value to contribute to the literacy effort. By continuing to work together on this critical issue, we can ensure an educated citizenry of the future.