Young lawyers share joy of books with young readers
Marissa Pullano, a family law attorney, Brinkley Morgan and Cherine Smith Valbrun, an attorney with Kim Vaughn Lerner, LLP, helped launch the Broward Young Lawyers for Literacy program.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — It’s no secret that the more you read to children, the more they learn to love it. With the goal of sparking a passion for reading in pre-k and kindergarten students, the Broward County Young Lawyers Section recently launched its Broward Young Lawyers for Literacy Initiative.
The initiative was founded by attorneys Marissa Pullano and Cherine Smith Valbrun and subsidized through a grant received by the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division. Attorneys, including Pullano and Smith Valbrun, recently served as guest readers at three local elementary schools and two local early childhood centers throughout Broward County.
Pullano, who is president of the Young Lawyers Section of the Broward Bar Association, and Valbrun, who is the Pro Bono Committee Chair, launched the program in partnership with Broward County Public Schools’ Early Childhood Education, Broward Community Schools, and Reading Is Fundamental. It is the initial phase of a two-part literacy initiative and sets the stage for local participation in the Read for the Record Campaign in October, when millions of people around the nation read the same book on the same day to promote early childhood education. The Young Lawyers Section will fund the purchase of the selected book for more than 600 community early childhood learning centers in Broward County, many of which will be able to participate for the first time.
“We all know that children who get a late start with reading will struggle to catch up for years to come,” said Pullano, whose practice with the law firm of Brinkley Morgan focuses on family law. “Not every family has the capacity to assure that their children are reading at grade level and many schools do not have the resources to fill the gap. That’s where volunteers come into play.”
The guest readers program launched in May and will continue after summer vacation when school resumes in August.
“Helping a child develop the confidence to read well and en-joy reading is one of the greatest gifts we can give,” said Pullano. “Volunteers are essential to the process, whether they are attorneys, retirees or students. Sharing our love of reading can be transformative for children who otherwise might be left behind.”
For more information about Broward Lawyers for Literacy, contact Marissa Pullano at firstname.lastname@example.org or (954) 522-2200.