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2/25/2010 - Jackson, Miss.

Members of America Reads Mississippi (ARM) will gather at 89 school sites across the state on Tuesday, March 2 – the birthday of beloved children’s book Dr. Seuss – to promote “Read Across America Day.”

ARM members will be joined by public officials, retired teachers, retired librarians, community leaders, foster and grandparents, and others to read to children at the schools and promote literacy.

“Read Across America Day gets to the heart of ARM’s mission: Improving the reading skills of students across Mississippi and encouraging public awareness and support of literacy,” said Nikitna Barnes, ARM special projects director. “Research shows that children who are reading on grade level by the third grade have a better chance of graduating high school and becoming contributing, successful citizens.”

In its eighth year, Read Across America Day is sponsored by the National Education Association. The event was created to generate enthusiasm for reading nationwide and focus attention on the importance of motivating children to read. Dr. Seuss is known for his use of rhyme to teach young children the basic skills they need to be successful and develop a life-long love of reading.

There are currently 334 full-time ARM members who serve at the 89 school sites. ARM is made possible through a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service and operates regionally through a partnership with five of Mississippi’s public universities.

ARM oversight at the state level is a joint effort through the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service and the State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL). The IHL Board of Trustees, which governs public universities, has committed to helping ensure students are ready for college and teachers receive first-rate training at universities across the state. For more information, including a list of the 89 school sites, about America Reads Mississippi visit www.americareadsms.org.

For more information on Read Across America Day, or to access printable activities to use in the classroom, visit www.nea.org/readacross or call (202) 822-SEUS. For more information about activities in Mississippi contact Nikitna Barnes at (601) 540-7820 or nbarnes@mississippi.edu.


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