Event highlights Read to a Child’s kickoff of its fifth BPS partnership
BOSTON – March 31, 2023 – Mayor Michelle Wu today joined Boston Public Schools and national non-profit Read to a Child to mark the final day of National Reading Month by reading aloud to first-grade students at the Mildred Avenue K-8 School in Mattapan. The day showcased the importance of reading aloud, marked the launch of the organization’s Read Aloud Mentoring Program at the Mildred Avenue K-8 School and highlighted its fifth partnership with a BPS school.
“Reading is a fundamental part of our children’s educational growth and success and has the power to nurture imagination and perspective,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I am grateful to Read to a Child for expanding its partnership with Boston Public Schools and their continued efforts to bring more volunteers into our schools to serve as reading mentors for our young people.”
Mayor Wu read My Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World written by Super Bowl champion and author Malcolm Mitchell. The book’s theme is to find yourself in the books you read and find books you love to read. Mayor Wu was presented with a copy of the book autographed by Malcolm and signed by all of the first graders. Read to a Child also provided each child with an autographed, personal copy of the book to bring home.
“I am thankful to Read to a Child and so pleased that Mildred Ave students will now receive the same critical interventions other students do at the Adams, Condon, Harvard-Kent and Tobin schools with this new partnership with Read to a Child,” said Superintendent Mary Skipper. “The Read Aloud Mentoring Program model of high dosage and long duration will benefit our students by increasing their literacy and building up their socio-emotional skills. This highly impactful program will ensure that our students are connected with caring adults to foster a life-long love of reading.”
BPS Reading and English Language Arts classes are designed to support students with building their reading skills and asking them to tackle difficult questions about themes, word choice, and making connections to real world events and situations. Reading also helps to expand student vocabulary.
“Both Mayor Wu’s and Superintendent Skipper’s commitment to improving literacy skills, rebounding from the pandemic and closing the achievement gap is evident,” said Read to a Child CEO, Paul Lamoureux. “After hearing Mayor Wu read Malcolm Mitchell’s book today and seeing her interact with the Mildred Ave first graders, her love for Boston public school children is also extremely evident.”
In our school buildings, students also have access to a wide range of e-books and audio books. BPS also has a partnership with the Massachusetts Library System (MLS), which allows us to open more doors for students to learn more about the world around them. We are committed to BPS’ three-year library investment, improving libraries with new books, electronic resources, furniture, technology, and librarians.
“Our school is excited about its new partnership with Read to a Child and thankful for the organization providing so many volunteer reading mentors, as well as personal copies of My Very Favorite Book in the World,” said Kristina Reeves-Barber, Principal of Mildred Avenue K-8 School. “As part of the mentoring relationships that develop in the Read Aloud Mentoring Program, I look forward to even more of our students improving their reading skills and, thanks to the one-on-one time, developing a love of reading and improving their self-confidence.”
The Mildred Ave K-8 School is Read to a Child’s 5th partnership with BPS, and is one of 16 public schools in greater Boston and one of more than 30 schools nationally, where Read to a Child operates its Read Aloud Mentoring Program. Read to a Child recruits, vets, trains and manages a force of thousands of corporate and community volunteers who read aloud (during lunch) one-on-one to children who are referred by their teacher into the program.
About Boston Public Schools
The Boston Public Schools (BPS), the birthplace of public education in the United States, serves more than 48,000 pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students in 119 schools. BPS is committed to transforming the lives of all children through exemplary teaching in a world-class system of innovative, welcoming schools. We partner with the community, families, and students to develop in every learner the knowledge, skill, and character to excel in college, career, and life.