Encouraging Reading in Today’s Youth


Photo: Volunteers work together to label and color-code books by reading level for the community library.

Regardless of the types of books your kids like to read, they will learn about new things, develop a strong vocabulary, and travel to distant worlds they might not have otherwise had the chance to experience. One second your little girl is on a ship fighting some swashbuckling pirates and the next she’s climbing to the top of Mount Everest on a daring rescue mission. It doesn’t matter what they read, the important thing is that they are reading.

Recognizing the tremendous impact reading has on today’s youth, we have partnered with Beam Housing Services and the Bridges of Books Foundation to introduce youth-focused libraries into several of our multi-family communities. Our Whitney Crescent, Oaks at Weatherby, and Gardens at Birmingham are the newest CIS properties to have a library implemented, complete with books color-coded based on reading grade level.  More importantly, we have initiated a free of charge summer reading enhancement two nights a week to help children age 5-13 with reading.

Each library will be used for a children’s literacy program that will build on the summer reading program that Beam introduced two years ago, which aimed to assist children in completing their summer reading assignments. At the end of the program, children will receive an e-reader in recognition of their hard work and encourage them to continue reading in their daily lives.

We always invest in the communities we develop and working with social service programs and other organizations makes it possible for us to do so. We are very thankful for the Bridges of Books Foundation, which donated an assortment of new and used books for readers of all ages, and Beam for helping us make these libraries possible.

By putting books in the hands of children who need them, we are hoping to help them develop a love of reading and let the stories take their imaginations to places they’ve always dreamed of.