Real men read. Just ask Chris Rebuck.

Rebuck, a PPL Electric Utilities foreman, recently spent an hour at the Heights Murray Elementary School in Wilkes-Barre, reading the children’s book “Corduroy” to a roomful of kindergarteners.

Rebuck is among the volunteers supporting the United Way of Wyoming Valley’s Real Men Read program. The program brings men from different professional jobs into classrooms to read, encouraging early literacy among kindergarten students.

For children who don’t attend preschool programs or live in homes where reading is emphasized, kindergarten may be their first substantial exposure to reading. The students receive copies of the books read to them, so learning can continue outside the classroom.

The program also aims to show students – some of whom may have absent fathers — that “real men” value reading as an important skill. That’s something Rebuck has tried to pass along in his own family.

“I have a 10-year-old daughter who is my world, and I think about all the times I read to her – and now she reads to me,” he said.

Rebuck will head back into schools at least twice more this year for additional reading sessions, and has told the United Way he’d be glad to fill in if another reader can’t make it.

“A lot of kids don’t have books, and a lot of kids don’t have role models,” he said. “Hopefully, I made an impact where kids want to go home and read. Any time you can help a kid, to me, it’s a win-win.”

(Photo provided by the United Way of Wyoming Valley.)