Wear a uniform to work? You can help Jacksonville children learn to read

Think about this: an hour of your time could have a major impact on a child’s life

Law enforcement officers read to children at monthly events through Literacy Pros of Jacksonville's #Blue4Books program. (Courtesy of Literacy Pros of Jacksonville)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville nonprofit organization is looking for men and women in uniform who want to make a difference in our community by volunteering to read to children.

Literacy Pros of Jacksonville is recruiting firefighters, police officers, military, doctors, postal carriers and other uniformed professionals to help inspire students through the power of literacy. The recruitment is part of a plan to expand the organization’s #Blue4Books program.

The program, which is the brainchild of Literacy Pros President Janice Gendreau, was formed in February 2019 with the goal of building interaction between children and police in non-emergency settings. Once a month, officers read to children and take part in crafts related to book selections.

“Crime and illiteracy are related thieves stealing dreams and success from society,” Gendreau said. “We can all contribute to showing our youth a path to success through literacy, which empowers them to learn almost anything they desire and by teaching them respect for authority and others, which enables them to find support and help as they navigate life to achieve their goals.”

“When young people are exposed to various attainable opportunities, it enhances self-discovery and a desire for vision,” added Literacy Pros Board Member and Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Chief George Pratt. “Many of us are where we are today because of those in the community that took an interest in the lives of young people.”

Established in 2003, Literacy Pros of Jacksonville is volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that aims to tackle the illiteracy problem in our community. Among other things, the group provides literacy lessons and trains aspiring tutors free of charge.

Those interested in learning more about the program or volunteering as part of #Blue4Books are asked to contact Literacy Pros of Jacksonville by calling (904) 210-6677.