“If you get a good base in the first and second grade and you can read, you can do anything.” – Barbara Bush
On April 17 the nation and world lost Barbara Bush. She lived an extraordinary life, being not only a First Lady, but also a First Mother. No matter what your political persuasion, we can all agree that her passion for literacy, in particular, children’s literacy was well placed. Never one to mince words, Mrs. Bush would tell anyone who would listen that if children did not learn to read their futures would be bleak. As we come to the close of another school year, all of us who are Reading Buddies take with us hope in the futures of our young charges. We carry this hope because we know that we have helped to give these children the reading skills and self-confidence they will need to be productive citizens of the world.
I will leave you with this teaser. Be watching for the announcement of a program being offered this summer to address summer slide – the loss of academic progress, primarily reading skills, that occurs when children do not engage in reading during the school summer recess. SAYL and two other nonprofits will be joining together with philanthropist Harvey Najim to study student outcomes when provided structured, incentivized reading opportunities during the recess.
Deborah Valdez, Executive Director
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