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Ritz Announces New Reading Engagement Program For Kids

A new initiative is underway to encourage Hoosier elementary students to read more.

Andrew Locke

Photo: Elle Moxley/StateImpact Indiana

Education leaders say the state needs to curb a trend of students losing some of their reading ability each summer.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz was joined by Clifford the Big Red Dog at Crooked Creek Elementary in Indianapolis Friday morning to unveil the “Hoosier Family of Readers” effort.  The message: kids should keep reading during the summer.

“Reading is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure that you’re going to be successful in school,” Ritz told the students.

Crooked Creek literacy specialist Caroline Marandino  says the more time children spend with books during their summer break, the better chance they have to succeed at the next grade level.

“A lot of students will finish the year right where they should be,” Marandino says, “And they’ve closed a lot of the gaps, but then over the summer if they’re not doing any reading then they’ve regressed and you kind of start four months backward.  You could have started right where you left off.”

The initiative is a statewide collaboration to offer reading programs through libraries, non-profits, and schools.  The goal is to have children reading every day

The program has 164 partners in 74 counties.

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