Whether or not you took Read To Succeed’s advice and “unplugged” this past week, it’s never too late to keep the sentiment of the program at heart.
The sixth annual UNPLUG & Read! week has just ended, but organizers hope a small part of every week will have folks unplugged from electronics and reading.
“UNPLUG & Read! week is always a great reminder of how important it is to connect with family, to turn off all of the gadgets and just focus on a good book,” says Lisa Mitchell, Read To Succeed Executive Director.
UNPLUG & Read, celebrated this year from February 10 to 16, is one of the many ways Read To Succeed promotes its mission to foster the importance of literacy in Rutherford County.
To participate, families, organizations, schools and businesses chose a time during the week to turn off all electronic devices and read a book.
This year, readers pledged the hours that they would turn off the TV and pick up a book during the week, and community members pledged more than 500 hours of unplugged reading.
Schools, organizations and businesses across Rutherford County celebrated the week in unique ways.
Oakland High School’s BETA Club invited Linebaugh Library to set up a library card drive in the cafeteria during UNPLUG & Read! week. The students even organized a book swap in the school library, with dozens of students bringing used books to exchange for a new favorite.
Local heating solution company Backer-Springfield asked employees to bring used books to donate to Read To Succeed to honor UNPLUG. Human Resource Generalist Lisa Shaw said that Backer-Springfield’s employees are always excited to help the community and rallied behind the idea of helping Read To Succeed.
Middle Tennessee Christian School let students spend time curled up on bean bags reading Friday to celebrate UNPLUG & Read! week.
Read To Succeed “literacy dog” Unkas and owner Kathy Green visited Murfreesboro’s Boys & Girls Club, where kids lined up around the building for the chance to read to Unkas. Green and her dog often visit local schools on behalf of Read To Succeed; students are able to read aloud freely to the dog without worrying about feeling shy.
Mitchell said participation in UNPLUG & Read grows each year.
“Thanks to the UNPLUG & Read! billboards donated by Lamar Advertising, Rutherford County is always excited about this event,” she said.
Organizers hope the community will carry the message of the event throughout the year and remember to always make time to pick up a book, including Read To Succeed’s One Book Community Read choice for the year, John Green’s "The Fault in Our Stars."