Madison Rotary conducted its annual Spring Reading Project in support of "Read Across America" week (February 25 - March 1).  Madison Rotarians visited the Madison second-grade classrooms and read “Andy & Elmer’s Apple Dumpling Adventure” to the children.  This project promotes literacy and a love of reading while also introducing the children to Rotary and the concept of The Four-Way Test.   The book was developed by a Rotary Club in Ohio and has become a national service event.  We also donated 36 "Andy and Elmer's Apple Dumpling Adventure" activity books and boxes of crayons to the Kirby Center.  Reading to children has been proven to be the most effective way to improve a child's reading ability because the reader can engage with the child at his or her level of comprehension rather than at the child's own reading level, which might not be at the same level. 
Most importantly, it is key to have fun with reading:  to illustrate to the children that reading is a joy that they will have forever, that it can take them wherever they dream to go, and give them the opportunity to learn whatever they choose.  When asked why they like to read, one student answered, "I learn things."  Another precocious student answered, "When I read I go on an adventure.  It makes my imagination get big and I can go places I could never go in real life."  A third student responded, "I like to hear a story."  All three children were correct!  Our Club volunteers thoroughly enjoyed spending time with these wonderful children, and we look forward to seeing these same students again in the Fall when we will present them with personalized dictionaries as part of our Autumn Dictionary Day event!