Its time to put on your cowboy hat and your dancing boots for the 7th annual Wee Books Barn Dance.
Wee Books is a childhood literacy program that provides one free book, every month, to Dawson County children from birth to age 5. The purpose of the program is to foster a love of reading and learning before children start kindergarten.
Early learning sets the stage for success in school, Wee Books Board Member Jane Graves said. Gov. Deals wife (Sandra) has said that the state can predict the number of prison beds needed based onhow many children are reading at or above grade level by the time they reach third grade. Thats pretty scary.
Wee Books is funded each year by money raised through the Barn Dance and Leap for Literacy. On Feb. 22, more than 30 people made the full-body plunge into the frigid waters of Lake Lanier and helped raise more than $6,000 for the program -- a new record.
Tickets to the barn dance are $36 and include a barbecue dinner, two glasses of wine, and home-baked cookies. Children 6 to 11-years-old are $10 and children under five are free. Dinner is provided by Jim N Nicks, which has been slow-cooking pork since 1985. Nick Pihakis and his father, Jim, reclaimed an old dry cleaning store in Birmingham, Ala., and opened their first restaurant 29 years ago. Today, they have 30 restaurants in seven states, including a location in Cumming.
Square dancing moves will be called by Bill Agerton, who serves as the official barn dance maven.
Focus this year is on finding parents, grandparents, or guardians whose children are not enrolled in the program. The program is free to all Dawson County families regardless of income.
It is such a simple thing to read to a child, Graves said. It doesnt take more than 10 minutes a day, yet it can make a difference for a lifetime.
New this year is a summer fundraiser hosted by optometrist Dr. Brian Burke who is a long-distance, endurance cyclist. Burke plans to pedal 750 miles of the Colorado high country in July and is looking for sponsors for every mile.
Wee Books is a 501c3, non-profit organization. To enroll your child, grandchild, or to sponsor Dr. Burke, 706-216-0173 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are available at the Dawson County library, and the Dawson News & Advertiser office located next to the historic Pool Room downtown.