Do your part to help out local schools - Tamara Boatwright

They had a little bit of everything. One woman was selling racing memorabilia and T-shirts emblazoned with Nathan Bedford Forrest's photo, another was selling baby clothes while another sold toys and trinkets. In the cool dawn they went about their tasks setting up tables, unpacking boxes and making sure their wares were displayed properly.

All the sellers who participated in Saturday's yard sale at the Daily Herald, and those who participated in a similar event at the News Daily two weeks ago, had more in common than they thought. Each and every one of them helped to make sure newspapers continue to get into the schools for use in history, math, English and general study classes. They helped to make sure our Newspaper in Education/Literacy program continues to be a success.

Each Tuesday copies of the News Daily and her sister publication, the Daily Herald, are distributed to every school in each county. Featured in each week's publication are the KidScoop page and either a single page or a page and a half for each high school, on a rotating basis, to feature its school newspaper. This is made possible through a lot of hard work of the newspaper staff as well as cooperation from representatives of each school system. But most of all it is made possible by the people who do a little extra for the program without knowing it. Like those of you who participate in events such as the yard sales. Those of you who donate items to our weekly silent auction and those of you who buy items featured in the auction or who work with the circulation department and donate portions of your bill to the NIE/Literacy program.

In the coming months we're going to grow this program in each county. Some of us will be calling on local businesses for help and some students may be at school events signing up new subscribers as a fund-raising event for their journalism programs. The Bulldog Bark staff at Mt. Zion High School, under the direction of Dr. Jim Lester, is one of the participating newspaper staffs.

A successful NIE/Literacy program means that an entirely new generation of readers is being reached. Research shows that students who develop a love of reading at an early age are better students and will grow into more informed adults who, in turn, will share their love of reading with their children, and so on.

So do your part. Call a school and compliment them on their hard work when it appears in the News Daily or Daily Herald. Sign up for a subscription through one of the students if you are accustomed to buying one out of the newspaper box. Take a gander at what we have to offer in our silent auction and bid on something. Sure, we might grow our circulation a little bit, we readily admit this, but honestly that's not our main objective. We want children to grow up to be readers, to be better students and more informed adults. All of us have a vested interest in the future.

If you want to know more about our program, or want to let us know what you think, give us a call. You may reach me or Circulation Manager Naomi Jackson at (770) 478-5753. She's at extension 240 and I'm at 272. We're the ringleaders of this program and we, as well as other employees of both papers, are dedicated to see that the NIE/Literacy program is a success.

Tamara Boatwright is managing editor of the News Daily and Daily Herald newspapers. She may be reached at (770) 478-5753 ext. 272 or at tboatwright@news-daily.com