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RFB&D Record-a-Thon Reaching Record Numbers

Author Diana Raab and members of local organizations join the growing list of volunteer readers

The fourth day of Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic’s Record-a-Thon in Santa Barbara resulted in reaching record numbers of community members.

Author Diana Raab was joined Thursday by members of the Newcomers and the Lions, UCSB Film and Media students, the Breast Cancer Resource Center, speech therapists, SBParent.com and others.

Dozens of people have called to come in to read books for those who struggle with reading because of learning disabilities, including dyslexia, visual handicaps such as blindness, and physical handicaps that make it difficult to use printed books, such as quadriplegia or brittle bone disease.

Raab, a poet and author of such books as The Guilt Gene and Regina’s Closet, read from Writers and their Notebooks, a book she compiled and edited.

“I’ve been a reader all my life. My mother used to take me as a young child to the library, and I’d leave with a big stack of books,” Raab said. “It’s wonderful to share with others who struggle with reading. I feel for anyone who doesn’t have the ability to read, so it’s tremendous to share stories.”

Russ Llewellyn, vice president and branch manager of the Goleta branch of Montecito Bank & Trust, brought 10 employees and his niece Georgia, 9, and nephew William, 6, to the Record-a-Thon.

“Years ago, I was invited to Record-a-Thon. I wasn’t planning to come, but I came anyway, and I loved it,” said Llewellyn, who’s also on the RFB&D board of directors. “I’ve been coming ever since, and last year joined the board of directors. Participating with RFB&D really makes me feel I’m giving back. This feels a lot more personal. I’m proud that Montecito Bank & Trust has been a longtime supporter of the important work of Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.”

Joe Palladino, undergraduate academic adviser to the UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies, has been on the Record-a-Thon Committee since January, helping Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic prepare for the weeklong event.

“I grew up locally, and I think this is a great example of the Santa Barbara community coming together: People who read well are helping those who find reading a challenge,” he said. “It’s great to see so many local authors and dignitaries participate, and as a media person I’ve been especially pleased to see the media come out to cover this important event.”

There are a few limited openings available for people who want to read. Call 805.681.0531 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to schedule a time.

For those who can’t come during the Record-a-Thon, RFB&D holds a regular Learning Through Listening one-hour presentation each month. The next sessions are scheduled for May 6 and June 8, both from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the recording studio, 5638 Hollister Ave. To RSVP, call 805.681.0531.

— Kathy Wertheim is interim director of Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.

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