(BEDFORD) - The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded the Lawrence County Community Foundation $16,000 for the Bedford North Lawrence Schools and $5,500 for the Mitchell Community Schools to launch "Real Men Read" to nurture the love of reading in young students.
The program coordinates local male mentors who volunteer to read to kindergarteners once a month for five months. The students receive a book during each visit to build their own home libraries and share with their parents.
The mentors will reach an estimated 900 Bedford children and 300 Mitchell students over two years.
"Children learn to read from pre-school through about the third grade," said Hope Flores, executive director of the Lawrence County Community Foundation. "Then they read to learn. The 'Real Men Read' program encourages and helps students to improve their literacy skills and provides an opportunity for a positive male role model in the school setting."
"Students benefit by seeing men demonstrating the importance of reading, and hopefully it inspires boys -- and girls -- to read more," said Duke Energy South Central Indiana District Manager Bruce Calloway. "The program gets books into children's hands and introduces an often overlooked volunteer base to our schools."
About 30 community mentors, including representatives from local businesses as well as retired educators, will participate in both programs. All volunteers go through an orientation to learn how to engage young students.
Duke Energy Indiana's operations provide approximately 6,900 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 790,000 customers, making it the state's largest electric supplier.
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