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Community chalkboard focuses on the good in Reading

Community chalkboard focuses on the good in Reading

READING, Pa. - Chalk and a chalkboard. That is all a group called RDG Matters placed in downtown Reading in the 900 block of Penn Street prompting people to spell out why they love the city.

"I think it is interesting. I like it and I like Reading," said Zuleika Santiago of Reading.

The group of outspoken advocates for the city installed the sign on August 3rd and says the responses came pouring in.

"I love the place because my family has been here for a while and amazing food. Really good food," said Abraham Berges of Reading.

"For its diversity," said Charles Acosta. "When I came up here, I found that there was people just like me."

"I can spend time with my family and play basketball with them," said Xavier Torrez.

"I love Reading because my family is here," said Gisselle Perez of Reading.

"I love parks," said Nataliz Ortiz of Reading.

The group got the idea from street artist Candy Chang who put up a large chalkboard in New Orleans that said "Before I die."

"It was kind of like a bucket list. Everyone in the neighborhood wrote what they wanted to do before they die. And we just thought it would be cool to do something like that here, but that showed kind of a pride for our city," said Sharice Towles, one of the board creators.

Board creators say they were hopeful, but they never imagined that by putting out some chalk and a chalkboard that it would lead to so much pride being displayed in Reading.

"I just want people to realize that although there are negative things that happen here, there are people that try to make a difference. It takes one person to go out and do something for the community and you would be surprised the response you would get. We did not expect it to be this big," said Towles.

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