St. Mary's County Reads (SMCR), a community collaboration between the St. Mary's County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Department of Social Services (DSS), the St. Mary's County Library and the Judy Center, is a literacy program designed to encourage children to develop an interest, habit and desire for reading and help children be ready to learn to read when they start kindergarten!

Volunteers read to young children who have come with their parents to the Lexington Park Branch of DSS office for service on Mondays and Wednesdays. Each volunteer will read for one and a half hour intervals between 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. The purpose of this literacy activity is to help motivate children to read, encourage parents to read to their children and take advantage of the many programs and services for young children that the Library offers. Programs such as the 500 By Five Reading Program are designed to motivate parents and children to read 500 books by age five to help children be ready to learn to read when they start kindergarten!

Kerry Miciotto, Team Leader at Lexington Park DSS states that "Since 2/24/14 when we began counting, 1,254 children have been read to by SMC Reads Volunteers."

Each volunteer will be expected to complete a consent for background clearance form, and it will require that their signature be notarized. If you are interested in volunteering and want more information about St. Mary's County Reads contact Dr. Janice Walthour, (NAACP) at stmarysnaacp@gmail.com, 301-863-3011 or Shannon Conroy Frescura, Assistant Branch Manager, Youth Services at St. Mary's County Library, Lexington Park branch at sfrescura@stmalib.org, 301-863-8188 ext. 2005.