New program puts men front and center to encourage students to read

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Leaders with the Fayette County School system are looking for volunteers to get involved in a new program.

The program is called R.E.A.L., which stands for Read, Excel, Achieve, and Lead. It is designed to get more books into the hands of students by providing each with a book to take home every month throughout the school year. It also contains a read-aloud mentoring program that will reach more than 7,600 students in grades K–5.

Lansdowne Elementary is one of 29 elementary schools signed up to participate. Lansdowne is specifically looking for male role models to be a part of its 'REAL' program. Peter Szajna is one of the men who volunteered for the initiative.

"I think it's a really good way for children to see that it's fun for dads and guys to read as well. Normally, little girls are typically the ones you think of being calm and sitting quietly while they read and boys want to run around and do stuff. I think this is a good way to show that reading is important and readings fun regardless if you're a boy or a girl man or woman," says Szajna.

Since launching their program in September, Lansdowne already has more than 36 men involved.

The district is still looking for volunteers to help with this program.

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