From Children to Inmates: Service League Encourages Literacy

The Service League of Natchitoches held its annual children’s literacy event, Reading on the River, Saturday March 6. In addition to readings by local dignitaries, the event provided an opportunity for children and parents alike to select free books for their own personal reading from thousands of unused books. Local residents, teachers and organizations made this event possible by participating in numerous book drives throughout the past year.

Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the community, the Service League was also able to donate hundreds of adult books to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center’s work-release program which encourages reading and literacy among inmates. Sherie Moore, Director of the transitional work program, was extremely thankful for the donation of books. The work-release program, approved by the Department of Corrections, has been in existence for over 20 years now and maintains a dorm where 48 beds are available for housing. Once inmates meet certain criteria, they are able to secure full-time employment through the program and get paid for their work. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the work-release inmates have been unable to access the Detention Center library, and therefore, had no available books to read.

The Service League wishes to thank everyone who participated in the event or contributed books for another successful year of Reading on the River.