In a time of a resurgence of hate crimes and rhetoric — Vermont is not immune — the effort to eliminate racism is increasingly important. Central Vermont Reading to End Racism, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, raises awareness of the harm racism causes and helps elementary school children learn skills and strategies to counter its negative effects.

RER originated in the Southwest and came to central Vermont more than 29 years ago. We are currently visiting between 10 and 12 schools each year. Once a school has agreed to our program, our trained volunteers visit their assigned classroom to read an age-appropriate book on the subject. After the reading, the volunteer leads an activity and/or discussion to help children build a world without bullying, racism and hate.

Our annual volunteer gathering is scheduled for Oct. 12, 10 a.m to noon, at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier. This is an opportunity for new and seasoned volunteers to discuss classroom experiences, look over our extensive book collection, and learn from demonstrations targeted to both younger and older students. If you are interested in volunteering, or want to know more, you will be warmly welcomed. Meanwhile, you can visit our Facebook page, cvreadingtoendracism, and our blog, cvreadingtoendracism.blogspot.com/

Further questions? Email me at ebhalp@aol.com.

Ellen Halperin

Marshfield

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