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My Reading for All Experience

My Reading for All Experience

By Patrick Williams

Jefferson High School, Class 2010.


As a member of the Boy Scouts of America, I was asked to do a project that would help the community in Jefferson, OR.  During my involvement with the different programs in Jefferson, I learned about the Reading for All, an initiative designed around the idea of promoting reading throughout the Marion County communities.  Immediately, I thought to myself, this would be a good way to help my community, but also the county.


Literacy is an area in today’s world that is slowly failing. More and more people today are being wrapped up in the technological world, where proper spelling and punctuation are not always used. That is where the Reading for All initiative comes in.  A year ago, when I first saw the Reading for All booth at the local “Mint Festival” here in Jefferson, I immediately got in touch with the program and asked if I could work with them to help complete my last, and final, Eagle Scout project. They were not only very receptive, but they were also very helpful in providing fliers, collection bins, and contacts for book drop off. The entire time that I was collecting books, I was getting input from the initiative’s organizers.  Whenever I had a question about the best way to collect books, or what to do with the boxes of books received after the collection was done, the people at Reading for All were happy and willing to help. Once I had collected the books, I still had one major thing to do, sorting. The Reading for All staff was very organized in the way they wanted the books to be sorted. This made my job and the job of those helping in the sorting much easier. In the end of it all, I ended up collecting 1,000 books, including children’s books all the way up to adult books. These books have been donated to different areas around the county.  The children’s books for example, were donated to a local program in which older kids help younger kids on developing their reading skill by reading a book with them.


The Reading for All Initiative is a great program. They try their best to encourage reading in the community. Just a few weeks ago, I was privileged to join the Reading For All initiative in promoting literacy in Jefferson.  At the local “Mint Festival“ this year, the same festival that I originally heard about them at, we set up a booth with bunch of children’s books in English and Spanish, including some bilingual books too. As we were sitting in our booth, we would encourage people passing by to stop and look at the books and see if they might like one. The children stopping by, of course were ecstatic, the parents who came by I am sure must have been happy to see their children smiling over a book, especially since many of them started smiling themselves. It was great to see the joy on the faces of those old and young when we gave them a free book.


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