A year ago, the Warren Foundation of Academic Excellence was formed to help children in our area.
Its three main goals are recognizing exceptional educators, working with gifted math and science elementary school students and promoting reading among our youth.
On Nov. 13, the group held its second reading night geared towards doing just that.
"Victoria, do you like to read?" I asked.
"Yeah!" the little girl replied with a big smile.
That's just the answer her father, Victor Hassell, likes to hear.
"She's at the point now where she loves to read and I want her to keep on reading," Hassell said.
Area parents bring their youngsters to reading night as a way of fighting what they consider a major epidemic--literacy.
According to "The Literacy Company," children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are three-to-four times more likely to drop out later on.
Greg Wassom, president of Warren Foundation of Academic Excellence, says statistics like this need to be switched around.
"Making sure they've got a firm foundation. If you can't read, school becomes progressively difficult," Wassom said.
Kim Self says by reading with her step-daughter Bridget every night, she's making up for some lost time with her.
"I want to show her that I'm not the best reader in the world but with the help of her, I'm trying to build my reading skills too," Self added.
She also said she's seen a difference in Bridget since she's started reading to her.
Victoria also likes likes to read before she hits the sack.
So what's her favorite books to read?
"Biscuit books!" she exclaimed.
Wassom says the foundation hopes to expand its efforts outside of Warren County to neighboring areas.
It would also like to implement stronger literacy programs.
For more information on the Warren Foundation for Academic Excellence, click here.