Friday, February 26, 2010
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:    FEBRUARY 26, 2010
FURTHER INFORMATION:      STACY ARMSTRONG (626) 857-4082, MICHAEL BILBREY (626) 914-8625

 

 

Citrus College Employee Tells Tales to Local School Children

by Stacy Armstrong

 

Michael Bilbrey, a bookstore operations coordinator at Citrus College, is going back to elementary school.

 

On Thursday, March 4, Bilbrey will be joining in to support the National Education Association’s Read Across America initiative.  As part of this special program, which focuses on motivating children and teens to read, Bilbrey will be visiting three classrooms in the Glendora Unified School District to read to approximately 75 kindergarten and first grade students.

 

A long-time participant, Bilbrey has become a highly sought-after volunteer in the Glendora Unified School District.

 

“I have been very humbled that the same teachers keep requesting me back each year,” the Hollywood resident said.  “On years that my schedule has kept me from being available on the day it was to happen, they have adjusted and let me come in a day early.”

 

Bilbrey first began reading to students during this annual event in 1997.

 

“I was invited by a classified staff member who worked in the Glendora Unified School District,” he said.  “I thought it would be fun and once I did it, I was hooked.  The looks on the kindergartners’ faces while I read and interacted with them were priceless.”

 

Bilbrey says that he has always tried to make the experience memorable for the students.  For example, one year he read about a tree house and actually brought a miniature version of the house to the classroom with him.    Another year, he read a story about rainbow fish and brought the class an aquarium.

 

“Now, I simply give the students a copy of the book to take home and read over and over again with their families,” he said.  “It is clear that some have not had books in the past and their excitement makes the entire experience worthwhile.”

 

Bilbrey says that while he may be giving books to the students, he is receiving something much greater in return.

 

“It is an amazing and fun experience that helps me to remember why we do the work we do at Citrus College, with older students,” he said.  “It also helps to keep me young at heart and mind.”

 

“It is rewarding to think that I might have made a child’s life a little brighter by broadening his or her experiences,” he added.

 

Bilbrey encourages others to volunteer.

 

“Volunteering, in general, makes one’s life fuller and more diverse,” he said.  “It can help you develop a sense of self.”

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:    FEBRUARY 26, 2010
FURTHER INFORMATION:      STACY ARMSTRONG (626) 857-4082, MICHAEL BILBREY (626) 914-8625

Michael Bilbrey