Change the World, Become a Reading Captain

Gary King, for the Shuttle


Saturday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m-12:30 p.m., 6700 Germantown Ave. Register online: Free. Sponsored by Read by 4th and Mt. Airy USA.

Attention all people with a penchant for community service and childhood literacy: Read by 4th’s “Reading Block Captains” initiative is coming to Mt. Airy!

Mt. Airy USA is partnering with Read by 4th to host a free workshop to recruit a new generation of community activists around literacy. The idea? Identify, recruit, and inspire “Reading Captains” on each block of the city!

Read by 4th Philadelphia and partner organizations like Mt. Airy USA are united in supporting an innovative Grade-Level Reading campaign that aims to get all kids in Philly reading on grade level by the time they reach fourth grade. Why fourth grade? Research shows that if students aren’t reading at grade level by the time they finish third grade, it becomes much harder for them to ever truly catch up. Many struggle for the rest of their academic careers and a good portion drop out.

We want to target students before they get to that point. Whether you’re a young single parent or couple with children or retired grandparents — we want you. A community volunteer or tutor? We want you.

You are passionate about reading, young people and making a positive difference in the world. 

You understand that good reading habits begin in the womb, the minute your child hears words from the outside world, and continue during the infant/toddler/pre-K years, with books playing a vital role, and you in the starring role as the primary ambassador, via storytime and reading.

You are embedded in your community and engaged with family, friends and neighbors and interested in being a resource, helping to promote literacy-related activities and initiatives that are always going on in and around the city.

Reading happens everywhere — in our schools, work, homes and even our blocks. So step up and become a Reading Captain for families on your block, building, or organization. All you need is to be at least 18 years old, someone who enjoys talking with your neighbors, and able to attend a two-hour training workshop Saturday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Work Mt. Airy, 6700 Germantown Ave.

Register online at Or contact me at or 215-844-6021, ext. 231.

Gary King is the Mt. Airy Reads! Community Coordinator.