Friday is World Literacy Day, and the North Carolina Bar Foundation’s Lawyers4Literacy program needs your help raising money for 100 new books for North Carolina students. A $10 donation provides two hardback books to a participating school. A donation of any amount helps support the L4L program.

To donate, go to the NCBA website Giving page and select Lawyers4Literacy. To learn more, watch the Lawyers4Literacy video and read the account below.

By Ann David

Ann David practices with David & Associates PLLC in Wilmington.

Lawyers4Literacy, supported by the North Carolina Bar Foundation, has expanded statewide in local bar associations and law schools since its founding six years ago.

I have volunteered with L4L for six years and witnessed firsthand the bond that develops between the students and the legal professionals who come to the classroom to read to them. The students are excited to see the mentors and are more dedicated to their school work in an effort to receive the acknowledgement that volunteers shower on them. Teachers have told me that L4L has encouraged apathetic students to become more enthusiastic about school, demonstrating improvement in attendance, work product and test scores.

Each volunteer reads in a local elementary school with a small group of struggling students once a week. The purpose is to improve the students’ reading and comprehension of nonfiction books. The books provided for the volunteers focus on our government, the election process, history and the lives of American leaders and heroes.

from judges to lawyers to paralegals with struggling elementary school students. L4L emboldens students to take part in their community to transform the world around them. Volunteers share stories from students where they went from rarely attending school into wanting to become teachers, lawyers and elected officials to make a difference.

Teachers and School Administrators attest to the results of L4L not only in the attitude and daily performance of the students likewise in their interest in non-fiction reading and results on End-Of-Grade test scores which focus on non-fiction inquiries. The aptitude to comprehend and articulate the content of these issues allows these students to excel in all areas of their education now and into the future. L4L volunteers have gone so far as to be encompassed in the students Individualized Education Plan (IEP) where the program expanded its original structure to permit volunteers to work with the same student throughout the school year. The point that teachers would request this action by L4L volunteers is a true testament to the validity and quality of the progress made by the program.

The success of the program can also be measured through the numbers of students served in schools from Wilmington to the Piedmont. In addition, L4L is currently organized in NCCU School of Law, Elon University School of Law, Wake Forest University School of Law and Duke University School of Law connecting those future lawyers with students in their counties. The program assists the law students to form best practices for volunteering in the communities that they will work also allowing them to make connections with other legal professionals already volunteering with the program benefiting both the students served and the students serving through L4L.

As Lawyers 4 Literacy embarks on another year of reading, we are excited at the possibilities that exist to reach all students. Last year in New Hanover County, L4L volunteers revised the program when Gregory School of Math and Science converted to Gregory International School supporting instruction in a bilingual immersive environment. L4L bilingual volunteers embraced the transition continuing to mentor students in both English and Spanish.