Roderick Tate, rightBy Roshani Chokshi

The numbers are in, and young male readers are at the short-end of the stick compared to young females in literacy skills.

According to a national survey conducted by the Young Adult Library Services Association, 39.3 percent of boys said reading is boring and no fun while 29.8 percent said they are too busy.

In an effort to combat these grim numbers, Roderick Tate founded The Reading Project, a quarterly program aimed to encourage young males, age 7 to 10, to develop their vocabulary and read books.

“I was in a book store one day and my horoscope told me to come up with something of my own,” said Tate, a software consultant and avid reader himself. “I volunteer with different programs and I know reading does help young boys. I’ve always encouraged people to read. It’s good to be able to talk about different topics as well as just reading for pleasure.”

Located at the West End Library, Tate’s first meeting with the boys was in late June. He chose Ron’s Big Mission, a biographical piece about a man who breached an unequal system to pursue dreams of becoming an astronaut.

Tate plans to further the boys’ reading interests through participation in question and answer as well as dialogue. He also introduced Give Me Five, where boys will receive a prize after every five books they read.

Tate hopes to partner with the Atlanta and Fulton school systems and the Boys & Girls Clubs to extend the program.

For more information about the program, visit www.thereadingproject.info.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

10 replies on “Intown resident encourages love of reading”

  1. It’s great to have someone helping a child to continue reading. I admire that. I have two young boys myself, and I occassionally hear that them say that reading is boring. So, someone stepping to the plate and willing to put some time into developing they young men is a blessing. Keep up the good work!

  2. It’s great to have someone helping a child to continue reading. I admire that. I have two young boys myself, and I occassionally hear that them say that reading is boring. So, someone stepping to the plate and willing to put some time into developing they young men is a blessing. Keep up the good work!

  3. Great job! As a product of the West End, I am glad to see kids having some of the opportunities thru your endevor that I had as a child. It really makes a difference and will inspire these young boys to be better men.

  4. Great job! As a product of the West End, I am glad to see kids having some of the opportunities thru your endevor that I had as a child. It really makes a difference and will inspire these young boys to be better men.

  5. This is awesome! Thank you for being involved and caring enough to help young male children the importance of reading and expand their minds. I salute you!

  6. This is awesome! Thank you for being involved and caring enough to help young male children the importance of reading and expand their minds. I salute you!

  7. It is fabulous to hear any individual making a positive contribution for our young readers. Keep it up! As a former West End resident, I am happy that others are carrying on the torch, especially since it is not just an assignment from a college class, but from an independent thinker!

  8. It is fabulous to hear any individual making a positive contribution for our young readers. Keep it up! As a former West End resident, I am happy that others are carrying on the torch, especially since it is not just an assignment from a college class, but from an independent thinker!

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