This is our son Adam, one of the best readers I have ever known. Adam, a Green Beret, was killed in action in Afghanistan on October 4, 2016, which is one reason this website has not been updated recently.
Adam loved to read, most likely because his dad, I, and his older sister read to him from the day he was born. He was born into a literacy-rich environment, and his aunts and uncles knew the gift of books for Adam was always a great choice for birthdays and Christmas. By the time he was in kindergarten, he was already reading chapter books, and he never gave up this love of reading.
As an adult, Adam was incredibly good at giving books as gifts. I used to ask him if he wanted to be a librarian because he had a knack for picking out perfect titles for the diverse people within his circle of family and friends. When he was in college or in his own home or deployed, we regularly emailed or called one another with reading suggestions. We always sent books to him when he was overseas, and he would share them with others in his unit and leave them behind for the local interpreters to use to improve their English.
Adam liked the mission of Literacy Volunteers. He saw firsthand in his travels in the U.S. and abroad the difference access to good books and quality education made in the lives of people, especially girls and women. He liked learning about the immigrants and refugees our tutors work with and the languages they spoke. He was especially pleased that we integrate STEM literacy into all of our programs. He graduated with a double major in biology and environmental studies and loved math and science.
Adam understood that books and reading connect us. As his family and friends go about the difficult task of living a life without Adam here, I know that many of us will re-read the books we shared with one another and remember him.
Our hope is that all the families we work with are able to create a literacy-rich environment. If they speak more than one language, we hope they can access reading materials in multiple languages. We hope everyone makes an effort to read and learn about things that are new and unfamiliar to them. Reading connects us. What a great idea!