A York City pastor is looking for a few good men who like kids and don't mind public speaking.
In two weeks, Jonathan Queen will send his willing volunteers into York City classrooms, where they will spend a few minutes reading to students.
Queen, the youth pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church, is organizing the 100 Men Reading Program for the third year.
The initiative is especially important in an urban school district like York City's, Queen said.
"We have a lot of single parents. We have a lot of children that come to school who do not have fathers at home and may not have a male mentor at all," he said.
Queen said the program aims to promote literacy "but also show men in a positive light."
Each man will visit three classrooms, spending 25 minutes in each. They'll get a chance to introduce themselves, then read from material provided by teachers.
In a few cases, local authors will read from their own books, Queen said.
The need: Queen said he still needs about 30 volunteers.
"We're definitely going to need 100, and we'll probably use all 100," he said.
To participate, men need to be available between 7:30 a.m. and noon on Thursday, March. 6.
That day, the volunteers will spend the morning visiting every classroom between kindergarten and seventh grade in the district and at the Lincoln and Helen Thackston charter schools.
Men from any background or career are welcome, Queen said. Police officers, firefighters, authors and security guards are among the volunteers already committed.
"We pretty much like to show the diversity," Queen said.
Queen said the program is part of a larger initiative of the American Literacy Council.
"The schools love it. We get a great response from the teachers," Queen said. "The response is great. The teachers love the fact that the men are coming in to the school."
Men who are interested in participating should contact Queen by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (717) 914-0948.
— Reach Erin James at email@example.com.