Each week, Sharon Patch will seek suggestions from readers for individual kids, youth groups, teens, and even sports teams that wow us with their accomplishments. We want to hear about these amazing children and teens and select one each week as the Patch Whiz Kid. Submit your nomination in our comment box below or e-mail the information to Michael.Gelbwasser@patch.com.
Here's our story on this week's Whiz Kid:
Helaina Peck, 18, Sharon
Senior at Sharon High School
Whiz Kid’s Accomplishment:
Reading at the Sharon Public Library this Saturday will help those who can't read.
Sharon High School senior Helaina Peck is hosting a read-a-thon to benefit the Brockton Adult Learning Center's Adult Literacy program, for 11:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the library's Cynthia B. Fox Community Room. Free baked goods will be available, too, courtesy of high school students.
"Literacy is one of the certain ways to change someone's life, especially in a shaky economy like now," Peck says.
"Even if the ability to read doesn't result in a better job, you'll still have a much better life and have a much more bright life, and more things to fall back on."
Peck says the read-a-thon is her community service project, the last part of her involvement in the Youth Leadership Across Borders program of Project Harmony International, a nonprofit organization that "builds strong global communities by fostering civic engagement, cross-cultural learning and increased opportunities in the digital age," according to its website.
Youth-LAB united high school students from New England, Armenia and Turkey to explore "leadership, social entrepreneurship and cross-cultural dialogue," according to the program's website.
Peck says she attended a three-week summer program last year in Vermont, where the agency is based.
Saturday, read-a-thon participants will collect pledges and read, she says. The suggested donation is 25 cents per minute.
At least 16 high school students are expected to attend, she says.
"It's accessible to everyone. Children can partake in it. Adults. Teenagers," Peck says.
The proceeds will benefit the Brockton Adult Learning Center, which has 900 people on its waiting list, she says.
"A lot of that is because they don't have the funds for materials, and also they don't have the funds for the citizenship tests that the Brockton Learning Center also prepares its students to take," Peck explains.
"I think that any money will just help. I just want to have people out there and be aware of illiteracy."