Nearly 11,000 students set to hear 535 guest readers in classrooms throughout Birmingham

Screen Shot 2023 05 02 at 2.11.36 PM e1683060938617 Nearly 11,000 students set to hear 535 guest readers in classrooms throughout Birmingham
(Better Basics)

It’s one of Birmingham’s most powerful educational events.

On Thursday, May 4th, volunteer guest readers will be in EVERY Birmingham City Schools’ pre-kindergarten through 5th-grade classroom at the same time to read.

Here is how it works. 

Mobillizing 100s of Volunteers

Better Basics
(Better Basics)

Better Basics mobilizes hundreds of volunteers who are committed to read a pre-selected, age-appropriate book to a class. They then hand each child a copy of the book for their home libraries. They will deliver books to 11,000 students!

In total, volunteers will be reading at 27 Birmingham City Schools in 535 elementary classrooms. Participants include: 

  • Alabama’s Poet Laureate Ashley M Jones
  • Birmingham Police Chief Scott Thurmond
  • Jefferson County DA Danny Carr
  • Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway
  • Vulcan and Vesta mascots
  • Businesses – KPMG, Brasfield & Gorrie, Regions, O’Neal Industries, and Alabama Power
  • Civic and social organizations 

The event begins at 12:30PM and concludes by 1:30PM. 

35-40 Volunteers Needed

Birmingham Reads
(Better Basics)

Interested in volunteering on May 4th? Better Basics needs between 35-40 guest readers to completely cover the event.

Contact: Betty Wells, Better Basics Volunteer Coordinator at learn how to participate.

About Better Basics

Better Basics is a Birmingham, Alabama, non-profit organization advancing children’s reading and mathematics literacy.  The group delivers a comprehensive range of research-based intervention and enrichment programs to pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade children in Central Alabama in collaboration with public schools in underserved areas.  Also, Better Basics will give away over 70,000 books this year to children with few books in their homes.

Have you ever been a guest reader for Birmingham Reads? Tell us about your experience on social media at @bhamnow 

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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