Recently on the campaign trail I had the pleasure of meeting a young woman by the name of Katie Miller.  Katie lives in Perry, which is at the eastern most end of the 147th district.  She is a vibrant person with a great determination to encourage people of all ages to read.  That is why Katie is often  seen around Perry wearing an oversized book over her shoulders titled, RAP—-Read Around Perry.

RAP is a long term community-wide literacy initiative begun this year by the Perry Rotary Club in partnership with the Perry Public Library, Partners for Prevention, Project Read, Literacy West NY Inc., and the Perry Central School  They describe their organization as an enthusiastic group of Perry community members who believe that literacy is crucial for growing and sustaining strong communities. 

As a result of this literary passion, RAP provides scholarships and monetary awards to students in the Perry, Wyoming, Warsaw and Letchworth school systems, along with dictionaries to those in third grade.

As Katie explained RAP to me, she spoke of the group’s current goal–to place book shelves in businesses, shops, schools and any public place they can find, complete with books for all ages to read and enjoy.  That’s it.  No strings attached.  No rules or regulations.  Just a simple way to connect people with the glory and wonder of books, under the RAP mission of Read. Learn. Grow.

In a rural town of just over 3,600 people, where the median income is around $45,000, RAP proves that it doesn’t take government or big business to make community initiatives happen. 

It simply takes the desire, effort and determination of the people who live, work and play in a community—people like young Katie Miller and the rest of the inspiring Perry residents who have banded together to form RAP.