8/2/2019, 6 a.m.

Education is wealth.

So is doing for others, because it brings a sense of happiness and fulfillment that goes way beyond just money. It is a wealth of the soul and spirit.

So, as we enter August and the final weeks before summer ends and school begins, we encourage people to do two things: Read just one more book and volunteer to help others before the month is out.

There are programs, projects, nonprofits, churches and other faith-based organizations throughout the Richmond area that would welcome the gift of helping hands even for a short time.

Feeding programs, senior centers and nursing homes, animal shel- ters and back-to-school drives to stuff backpacks with school supplies all are looking for the boost that volunteer efforts can bring.

Already, scores of individuals from various neighborhoods and the corporate community have rolled up their sleeves to participate in RPS Shines 2019, the volunteer effort to spiff up 44 Richmond public school buildings before students return in September.

An hour or two of painting, planting flowers and general cleanup may have a real impact on the thousands of children and young adults as they walk into the building on the first day of school to begin another year of learning.

Youngsters take cues from their parents. When they see their parents and family members volunteering, they want to join in. Similarly, seeing family members read may encourage them to pick up a book.

Former President Barack Obama is an avid reader. He also is the author of five books, the most recent, “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters,” written in 2010.

Here is his 2019 list of summer reads:

“The Moment of Lift” by Melinda Gates; “The Shadow of Sirius” by poet W. S. Merwin; and “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee.

The American Library Association also has lists of good books for readers of all ages. Librarians at all of the Richmond Public Library branches and libraries in the surrounding counties also are great resources for what to read next. And several schools also have listed suggested and required summer reading on their websites.

We hope any one of these will be a source of enjoyment.