LEAP WITH US: Why a Visit to the Local Library Should Be On Your Calendar  

(Dr. Clayton Lawrence, founder and CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on community wellness and inspiring others.)

It’s scary to imagine life without books, but for some, such as children living in low-income situations, these knowledge-building and empowering resources simply aren’t part of the home. This presents difficulties not only for a child where he or she is at in life, but years down the road, from school testing and college entry exams, to employment applications and holding a job.

As an organization that is devoted to developing pathways to a successful future for today’s youth, we encourage our mentees to discover the value of reading, whether it is for learning purposes or simply as a way to shut down technology and escape for a bit.

Don’t underestimate the power of books at any age or reading level. Here are just a few ways it can have a positive effect on the youth in your life (and for you, too!)

Reduce stress levels.

Free education.

Feed the imagination.

Emotional stimulation.

An expanded vocabulary.

An escape from reality.

Develop writing abilities.

An affordable hobby.

Better sleep.

History exploration.

A break from digital devices.

Partner reading = great bonding.

Mindfulness practice.

Language development.

Topic of conversation.

Problem solving and strategic thinking.

Improves memory.

Find answers and/or guidance.

Better communication skills.

Brighten the day.

Better brain health.

Decrease mental decline.

Identify with others.

Discover inspiration.

Overcome fears.