Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A small-world story

by Pam Withers

            My favorite part of running the keenreaders website is choosing someone to interview each month for our Interview feature. Basically, if they have anything to do with youth literacy, they intrigue me and become a potential candidate.
            So when I stumbled across something called, which promotes getting more male teachers into schools (thereby hopefully influencing reluctant readers that reading is not entirely a female thing), I decided that at some point I’d pursue an interview with whoever founded it. Not just because the majority of reluctant readers are boys, but because I think (and many mothers and female teachers agree) that girls could benefit from more positive male role models in the school system too.
            This past month, I got around to checking out their website, and who do you think popped up on my screen? The name and photo of Bryan G. Nelson, founder.
            “So that’s where you’ve gotten to, Bryan!” I exclaimed. Because not only did Bryan and I attend Beloit College in Wisconsin together thirty-some years ago, but we co-edited the college newspaper, The Round Table. I recall a free-spirited, dedicated colleague with whom I shared many laughs as well as late-night deadline panics in the cramped little attic college-newspaper room.
            It was fun to request a Keen Readers interview with Bryan, then add a “by the way…” He too was surprised and delighted at reconnecting in this way.
            So, here’s to a small world, and to folks who endeavor to make a difference. Keep up your good work, Bryan!

Keen Readers donates another 100 books

Keen Readers just donated 100 books to Kate Pike, manager of the Jefferson Teen Center in Chimacum, Washington. She accepted them from Tony Dirksen, co-founder of

The Teen Center, located on the Chimacum High School campus, is a place for kids to hang out, play music, play foosball, watch movies and yes, discover books and find a quiet corner to read.  Plus, the Center gives young people a place where they can come together to talk about issues of importance to them and to their safety, and it provides referrals to health care, employment and drug and alcohol prevention programs.

Keen Readers donates young-adult books to needy schools across North America, several times per year.