What was the first book you remember? I put this question to several Tucsonans and here are some of their answers.

“The first book I read was ‘Go, Dog. Go!’ by P.D. Eastman. I remember being very pleased with myself that I could read an entire book. It didn’t have much of a plot, as I recall, but I liked the silly drawings. This book helped give me the confidence to go on and ultimately become a lifelong reader.” — Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

“The first book I remember my mother reading to me was a collection of nursery rhymes. Humpty Dumpty. Old Mother Hubbard. Jack and Jill. Many others. The little mini-stories and words that rhymed were fun to me. The book, my mother at my side on the bed, and the magic of the words are things I still remember.” — Mike Varney, CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce

“As a German immigrant first to Canada and then the U.S., reading was and is extremely important. My first memory of having a book is ‘The Musicians of Bremen,’ a German fable. But the first book I remember reading all the way through is ‘The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.’ If you are old enough, you will remember the TV series. I recall reading this book after ‘lights out’ by flashlight in bed. To this day I enjoy novels of all genres but love mysteries and adventure the best. Reading is the genesis of success.” — Thom Cope, attorney and Literacy Connects board member.

“The first book I remember reading is ‘Pippi Longstocking,’ by Astrid Lingren. I was 8 or 9 years old. My older sister had just read it and I wanted to be like her. She helped me through it, and we even read parts of it back and forth together. I loved the attention I got from my sister. That experience created a lifelong love of reading for me.” — Debi Chess Mabie, former CEO of Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona

“I learned to read right before starting kindergarten, and when school began I was captivated by a giant copy of ‘If You Give a Mouse a Cookie’ that sat on an easel at the front of the classroom. I began to read aloud, eager to discover the story, and I turned around and noticed a few classmates gathered to listen. I will never forget the sense of pride I felt in my abilities, and the joy of sharing a story with others.” — Veronica Cruz-Mercado, program coordinator, University of Arizona BookStores

You may have similar fond memories. Yet, some children struggle and avoid books. They need a caring and patient adult to open the magical world of books with them. That is what Literacy Connects Reading Seed volunteer coaches do. Many volunteers change the trajectory of a child’s life. Sadly, last year over 300 children were turned away due to a lack of volunteers.

Do you have a few hours a week to volunteer? Register for an information session at Literacy Connects today. Go to www.literacyconnects.org/volunteering to learn more or call 520-882-8006.