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"Rockers" Raise Money For SOAR, But Need Your Donations
Updated September 8, 2015 7:39 AM | Filed under: Education
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(BEDFORD) - SOAR, Success and Opportunity at Reading will host a fundraising event to purchase materials to help those learn how to read.

Their mission is to provide adults and families in Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington counties with the opportunity to improve their basic reading skills.

To raise funds for those essential materials, SOAR will stage "Readers Rock" Saturday, September 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Lowe's parking lot.

Director of SOAR Adele Bowden-Purlee says the event will feature a cast of notable figures raising cash while reading in rocking chairs. You can support your "rocker" by pledging $5 an hour or a flat amount of $25, $50 or $100.

Rockers include Bedford Mayor Shawna Girgis, Director of Curriculum for North Schools Mark Vice, Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham, Susan Miller, Debbie Beeler of Hoosier Uplands, Steve Johnson, Lincoln School Principal Angela Wilson, Laura Charles, Amanda May, Blaine Parke, of the Bedford Chamber of Commerce and several more.

Providing musical entertainment for the event will be Mayor Girgis and Vice.

There will also fire truck, police car, an ambulance and helicopter will be on site for children to explore.

An estimated 40 million adults in the U.S. have poor reading skills and as many as 750,000 adults in Indiana can't read well enough to understand basic signs and important instructions such as emergency instructions and warning signals.

Bowden-Purlee said SOAR pairs those aspiring to read with personal mentors.

The volunteer tutors are required to attend a series of training sessions and commit to a minimum of two hours per week for sessions with students. The mission is to help individuals gain confidence and self-esteem while enhancing fundamental communication skills.

SOAR operates in partnership with the Lawrence County Economic Growth Council, the Bedford Chamber and the Lawrence County Community Foundation.

The program is free to any adult seeking reading skills. The one-on-one sessions are strictly confidential.

For more information about SOAR or the event, contact Bowden-Purlee at (812) 275-4493 or

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