Washington County SOAR! completes $8,000 matching grant from the Washington County Community Foundation.

We are beyond grateful to announce that we have completed and received the $8,000.00 matching grant from the Washington County Community Foundation. Through private donations and fundraisers we received the funds to complete the matching grant.

Our long standing mission is to increase literacy throughout Washington County by promoting and providing educational resources for adults and families.  We continue to promote literacy through individualized one-on-one adult tutoring; the Put Your Nose In A Book program; The Dictionary Project, and numerous community events.  Increasing the literacy rate among Washington County adults and promoting literacy within the youth, will close the gap and lower the illiteracy rate in the future.

We have been thriving, since our restructuring took place earlier this year and now this matching grant further strengthens our foundation. As always, our mission has stayed intact and will continue to thrive. The Washington County Community Foundation is a true blessing to our community and to SOAR!

For more information about SOAR! visit our website at www.washingtoncountysoar.org or call Director Stephanie Rockey at 812-883-5600 or email her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . As a reminder, SOAR! is located in the Salem Public Library.

SOAR! and The Salem Public Library have fun promoting reading at Kid’s Day at the Fair

Bean bag toss, age-appropriate books, coloring pages, bookmarks, stickers and a prize box- was all part of the fun at the SOAR! and Salem Public Library’s booth at Kid’s Day ,at the Washington County 4-H Fair, on Wednesday, June 25th. Kids were able to try their skills at bean bag toss to win prizes. Most importantly, they received an age-appropriate book to sharpen their reading skills.  Our goal, was to promote reading and show that fun and reading can go hand in hand.

Put Your Nose In A Book Program

SOAR! rolled out the red noses with “Put Your Nose In A Book” program, during Children’s Book Week, May 12-18th

Fire trucks, batters, bankers and books!  What do they have in common? SOAR! and “Put Your Nose In A Book” program, that’s what! This year’s Put Your Nose In A Book program was conducted by community volunteer readers in the first grade classrooms of all three schools in the county.  Wearing red clown noses, volunteers read an age appropriate book to the first graders at Bradie Shrum Elementary, East Washington Elementary and West Washington Elementary.  Each reader was matched up with the theme of each school’s book.  For example, Salem Fire Department readers shared Ready, Freddy! Firehouse Fun!.

The goal of the Put Your Nose In A Book program is to promote reading during the summer by reminding the first graders to put their noses in a book over their Summer Break. This program goes along with SOAR!’s mission to increase literacy by promoting and providing educational resources for families and adults in our community.  “This PYNIAB program helps combat the illiteracy issues this county faces at the beginning of its cycle, with the youth,” states Stephanie Rockey, Director of SOAR!.

At the beginning of each PYNIAB session, each first grader was given a red clown nose, a bookmark with sponsorship listing and his or her own copy of the book.  Students were able to follow along while their PYNIAB volunteer  read  to them.  Also, each first grade teacher received a copy of the book for his or her classroom library.

PYNIAB would not be possible without these community sponsors: Ace Hardware of Salem, Fredricksburg Lions Club, First Harrison Bank, Jason Wade State Farm Insurance, Jerry & Sherry Hammond, Washington County Prevent Child Abuse Council and Salem Lions Club.

Also, it wouldn’t be possible without our volunteer readers!  At Bradie Shrum, Salem Fire Department readers were Captain Ron Wilcox and Firemen Jeff Miller and A.J. Losson who read Firehouse Fun!  Heading over to East Washington Elementary, reading Flat Stanley at Bat were Ken Powell, SOAR! board member Alice Nevels and Fireman MJ Jones.  Concluding the program at West Washington Elementary, first graders were read Just Saving My Money by First Harrison Banker Nancy Hefley.  Also, assisting with the program at WW was Alice Nevels.

SOAR! Director, Stephanie K. Rockey, was elated about this year’s program.  “This is one of my favorite programs that we have to offer! The first graders look forward to us coming, especially with fire trucks and firemen in tow,” Rockey said. “It gets them really excited about reading! I couldn’t have asked for this year’s program to have gone any better….”

To find out more about SOAR! or Put Your Nose In A Book contact SOAR! at 812-883-5600 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .