Official “Read Across Worcester Week” Begins March 3rd
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The campaign has largely come to life because of the impetus of John Monfredo, member of the Worcester School Committee, GoLocalWorcester MINDSETTER™ and Chair of "Worcester: The City that Reads." Monfredo, who has written extensively on the importance of literacy in children's lives for GoLocalWorcester, spoke on why he believed reading to be so paramount, both in Worcester and across the nation.
"One of the things I attempted to do as a former principal and school committee member was bring attention to the importance of literacy, especially in terms of summer reading," said Monfredo. He went on to discuss how research indicates that the lack of access to books in low-income homes can lead to months of lost learning dubbed the "summer slide."
Read more from Monfredo on the importance of promoting lifelong literacy in his latest MINDSETTER™ column, "Make Worcester ‘The City That Reads’ on March 3rd."
Monfredo recalled how heartbreaking it was during his time as a principal to speak to students with few books in their homes, or none at all. To help place books directly into the hands of would-be readers, Worcester: The City That Reads has given out more than 170,000 books to children in the community since Monfredo founded the organization with his wife, Anne-Marie, eight years ago. "Read Across Worcester Week" will coincide with the beginning of the organization's annual book drive. Monfredo encourages anyone with gently used books that they no longer use to consider donating to them through his organization to children in need.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
"Read Across Worcester" week coincides with the birthday celebration for immortal Springfield, Massachusetts author Theodore Geisel -- better known by his pen name, Dr. Seuss. Seuss would have turned 110 on March 2nd, the day before the "Read Across Worcester" week officially begins. To honor the beloved author, one of the Read Across Worcester Week's events will be a Seuss Birthday Bash at the Main Branch of the Worcester Public Library on March 3rd from 3:30 to 5:00. The event will be complete with music, stories, and of course, birthday cake. The Frances Perkins Branch Library and the Tatnuck Magnet Branch Library will be holding additional Dr. Seuss reading celebrations throughout the week.
Doing Their Part to Promote Literacy
All across town, different groups will be doing their part to emphasize the importance of reading and writing in all facets of life. Worcester Public School Nurses will wear special pins promoting reading, and teach kids about the link between literacy and good hygiene. Worcester's professional hockey team, the Worcester Sharks, will be visiting schools to promote literacy (the team's mascot will be making appearances too). Worcester's newest baseball team, the Worcester Bravehearts, will send players to schools in Worcester to read to students. Even General Manager Dave Peterson will get involved, taking a break from his duties to regale the students at Chandler Magnet School with "Casey at the Bat."
All of these events attempt to solve the problem of illiteracy, which is particularly virulent in lower-income communities. "Instead of talking about it," said Monfredo. I'm trying to do something about it."
Related Slideshow: Central Mass Schools with the Highest Graduation Rates
Non-grad completers: Students that have successfully completed school according to local requirements, but whose MCAS test scores (scores lower than 220) prevent them from receiving an official diploma.
Students in cohort: Number of students eligible to graduate in 2013.
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