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The award was presented by the Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Dale Wainwright and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier during a ceremony held in Austin on Friday, April 5th. Warden Gregory David nominated RSVP for the award and Irma Shackelford, RSVP Director, was on hand to receive the award.
The Plainview RVSP program oversees the “My Dad Reads to Me” program which provides children with a CD of their incarcerated father reading to them so that they may hear his voice and have a better connection until his release. The fathers are also allowed the opportunity to include an inspirational and loving message at the end of the book reading.
Since the inception of the program in 2007, volunteers have recorded 793 dads reading books to 1,537 children totaling 4,489 books. There are currently four retired volunteers and the RSVP Project Director who participate in this program.
The Hale County Literacy Council partners with RSVP to provide the books for the program.
“We are honored to receive this award from TDCJ for the ‘My Dad Reads to Me’ program,” says Irma Shackelford, RSVP Director. “Our volunteers work hard every day to make a difference in our community and I am proud to receive this award on their behalf.”
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is one of six organizations and 16 individuals from across the state recognized for the Governor’s 2019 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award Program for their efforts to help inmates and those who are on parole or probation. They donate many hours of their personal time every year with the goal of changing the lives of convicted offenders, and aiding and comforting their victims.
“Volunteering is a responsibility that these recipients have embraced wholeheartedly and for that we are extremely grateful,” says TDCJ Chairman Dale Wainwright.
*Photo is Irma Shackelford, RSVP Director and Wheeler/Formby Warden Gregory David.