Compiled by Alice Sample

Journey 1

“My child entered Kindergarten a reader because I heard you talking to a group of parents. You said that the single most important thing for success in school was reading to your child every day. I started doing it that day, and never stopped. And with his sister, I started the day we came home from the hospital.”

This particular comment encouraged us to begin JIR every Thursday instead of two Thursdays a year!!!


Journey 2

My second grader started to cry when he was told he had to stay after school. He blubbered “Any day but today. It’s Thursday. It’s book day.”


Journey 3

From a young man with a 3 year-old daughter…. “Oh you’ll never get her to sit still for a book.” (This after being asked if he’d like a free book and a reading.)
Nancy sat with her and after the first book his daughter looked up and said, “Oh please would you read another?”

Dad and I talked about books and I offered to get him some. He said, “We have three boxes of books up in the attic. We’ve been saving them for when school starts.” (!) Starting that evening, he and she have become steady Thursday visitors.


Journey 4

From a Mom with four children (ages 1, 3, 6, and 9):…. “I love the books you get here. They aren’t like the ones in the supermarket. My kids love to hear them again and again so it’s nice that I can get more each week. Even the baby takes care of them. His are in a special box just for him. My 3 year-old’s books are in a cloth bag her Aunt gave to her. The others are in a bookcase.”


Journey 5

From a Speech therapist after she observed a family getting books…..“I work with two children in the family that was just here. Now I know where all the wonderful books come from. The children run to me to when I come into their home with a book for me to read to them. There is no way this family could afford all those good books for their children. The program is making a tremendous impact on this family.”


Journey 6

A young father brings his baby each Thursday. He picks a book and gives it to whoever is reading that week and then listens very intently as the book is being read to his child. We’re thinking he can’t read—or can’t read well—and wants to learn. We don’t want to scare him away but will try to direct him to the local Literacy Volunteers.


Journey 7

One Grandmother from Colorado enjoyed watching us with her two grandkids. She took one of each of our fliers, talked with me a bit, and went back to Colorado and began a JIR there. (But they only do it two days a year—just as we did prior to 2002.)


Journey 8

From a Mother of three little ones----“How can something so important be so easy— and fun too?”


Journey 9

From a single Dad of three (ages 3, 6, and 9)….. “After I heard you talk about how important reading every day is, I started a new thing---we all get in PJs , the kids all get in my bed, and I read the books I got from you. After one or two books I’ll put my 3- year old in her bed and keep reading to the boys. The kids really seem to enjoy it and I know I do.” (They’ve been doing this for about six months now.)


Journey 10

One Mom of two under-5s told me this story: “My 4 year-old commented that she liked when I read a book the second time better than the first time through. So now I try to read the book to myself before I read it to my kids. I think I’m becoming a better reader.” I bet she is.


Journey 11

One Grandfather ‘s comment…..“I thought all children’s books were about witches and had morals to teach. These have lots of other stuff in them. I like to read them!”


Journey 12

From a Mom:….. “I read Goodnight Moon to my child for the first two months of her life because it was the only book I had. We were in the doctor’s office for a three- month check-up. A woman across the room from us began to read to her two-year-old son. My baby’s arms and legs started really going, she seemed agitated. Guess what the woman was reading? Goodnight Moon.! As soon as the Mom stopped I asked for the book and began reading. My daughter settled right down.”


Journey 13

From a 10 year-old who has come to JIR for at least three years…. “Why do you guys come here and give us books?” After hearing the answer he said, "That’s really nice.” The following week he showed up with a box of books that he and his brothers had read and now wanted to share with others.


Journey 14

A mother of two (a boy and a girl) came to JIR and Mom told me how the son sat down and cried (he is 9) when he realized that he had missed JIR the week before.  His sister had been able to get a book earlier in the evening but he had to go to karate lessons. When the family came back to JIR after his lessons we were no longer there.  Now they both come….before the karate class.  We told him he could get two books this week. He was so happy. He talked about each book he picked up and wanted to know if I knew the story.  He took his time and checked out all the books in the box to make sure he would be getting something special.


Journey 15

A grandmother came to JIR and wanted to know if this was the place to get free books.  Her granddaughter (a 4-year old) had told her they had to go to the mall Thursday to get a book.  So Mom and Grandma came up to the mall, but the little one fell asleep in the car on the way up.  Grandmother came in to see if we would let her pick a book out for her granddaughter because she’d be so disappointed if she woke up and didn't have a book.


Journey 16

Children get the idea that you can read anywhere! Two under 5-ers settled down beneath the racks of clothes on sale in the main corridor of the Mall.


Journey 17

Just pass by the food court any Thursday evening and notice the number of kids reading their books while they wait for their dinner.


Journey 18

It’s incredible. Watch JIR from a distance some Thursday, and you’ll see that even with the noise from the Gizmo (that amazing ball thing at the Main entrance) and all the foot traffic going by, children are still able to listen to the books being read, and seem to be focused on nothing but the reader’s face and voice.