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2/29/2012 - Jackson, Miss.

America Reads-Mississippi (ARM) is excited to celebrate Read Across America Day by promoting literacy across the state of Mississippi on Dr. Seuss’ Birthday on Friday, March 2, 2012.

ARM members at 73 school sites across the state will recruit public officials, retired teachers, librarians, community leaders, and others to read to children and express the importance of reading. According to NEA, Read Across America Day is the organization’s signature literacy effort to help children develop a love of reading during their early years.

Studies show that students who enjoy reading perform better in school, boast higher test scores, develop comprehension proficiency and improve analytical skills faster and better than their peers who read less frequently. Read Across America Day is the nation’s largest reading event.

ARM members will host several reading activities which include volunteers dressing and reading in character costumes, literacy night out in PJ’s, school book drives and more.

ARM is an AmeriCorps program that focuses on improving reading skills of students, encouraging public awareness and support of literacy, and increasing the number of certified teachers in Mississippi.

There are currently 324 full-time members serving in the program. ARM is made possible through a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service and operates regionally through a partnership with six 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.

To find out more about service projects in your area, contact Nikitna Barnes at (601) 432-6110 or nbarnes@mississippi.edu. Visit the America Reads Mississippi website for more information.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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