Read Across America

Students take part in a reading activity for Read Across America Day in this file photo.

 

Advocates for literacy will come together Wednesday to join area students in the celebration of a famous children's author's birthday and the joy of reading. 

Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness campaign by the National Education Association that calls for children in every community to celebrate reading on the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss. 

According to NEA officials, the purpose of Read Across America is to motivate children to read by demonstrating its importance as it relates to student achievement.

Locally, during Read Across America, Communities in Schools of Milledgeville Baldwin County teams up with school officials, bringing area volunteers to Eagle Ridge, Creekside, Blandy Hills and Midway elementary schools and Early Learning Center to read to students. 

CISMBC site coordinators aim to encourage literacy at a young age by having volunteers share with students the benefits of learning how to read. 

"Communities In Schools of Milledgeville-Baldwin County has aligned our focus with the Baldwin County school system mission: to educate students who will graduate from high school with the knowledge, skills and values to be college and/or career ready in order to be contributing members of a global society. By promoting literacy, we aim to increase the chance of every student meeting that goal," said Sandy Baxter, CISMBC executive director. 

The organization also partners with local education institutions to help in the efforts to promote literacy among Baldwin's youth. 

"We are working very closely with the board of education and community partners like Georgia College, Baldwin Family Connection and the United Way of Central Georgia to concentrate efforts on literacy skills for children from birth to age 8," she said. 

"We know that children need a very strong reading foundation because third grade marks the shift from learning to read to reading to learn. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, children who can't read by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school."

Baxter said that every year they look forward to the number of volunteers they receive to read to kids in the schools on Read Across America day. 

"It's a joy to see the day come. Read Across America is one of the programs that allows Communities In Schools to provide members of the community the opportunity to volunteer and personally encourage children to read. We know that the greatest barrier to economic development and growth is the absence of a literate workforce, so we will continue to recruit volunteers, businesses and other resources to help."

For more information about Read Across America, visit www.nea.org

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