Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic kicks off its weeklong, 13th annual Record-A-Thon on Monday with celebrities, authors, businesses and individuals from the community dropping by the organization’s Goleta studios to record books for print-disabled students.
The Record-A-Thon runs daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and ends at noon Saturday. More than 300 guest readers are expected throughout the week.
Special guests include actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr., film director Howard Storm, and authors Barnaby Conrad, Ernestine De Soto, Fannie Flagg and Harley Hahn. Conrad will read from his best-known work, Matador; De Soto from her Chumash Indian fable, The Sugar Bear Story; and Flagg from her Red Bird Christmas. Reagan biographer and former Washington Post reporter Lou Cannon and former NBC news correspondent Sander Vanocur will headline Record-A-Thon’s “Reporter’s Read” event at noon Wednesday, reading from Cannon’s new book, Reagan’s Disciple, and from Tom Brokaw’s Boom!
The lead-off event for Record-A-Thon will begin at noon Monday with a tribute to retiring Santa Barbara City College President John Romo and his wife, Mary. A lifelong learner with a visual impairment, Mary Romo has been using the RFB&D service for several years. Friends, family and associates will join the Romos in reading two of John Romo’s favorite books: John Irving’s Hotel New Hampshire and Ronald C. White Jr.’s Lincoln’s Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural.
These and the other books being read during Record-A-Thon will be added to RFB&D’s Princeton, N.J.-based, audio book lending library for students and schools.
Those interested in participating in this year’s Record-A-Thon should call 805.681.0531 to schedule a reading time. Record-A-Thon volunteers and guest readers will be treated to a barbecue at noon Saturday sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara at the Goleta Valley Community Center, 5679 Hollister Ave. The barbecue is free, but attendees must RSVP.
RFB&D is the nation’s largest library of recorded textbooks and other educational materials for students who are blind, visually impaired, dyslexic or who have other learning and physical disabilities.
Tim Owens is the executive director of Santa Barbara’s Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic.