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OSSE Presents the Read Across DC to Promote Literacy in Early Learners

Monday, April 10, 2017

Media Contact: Fred Lewis, [email protected]; (202) 412-2167

State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Hyesook Chung read enthusiastically to classrooms of infants and toddlers at St. Albans Early Childhood Center in Northwest, Washington, DC, as part of Read Across DC, an event coordinated by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education that puts the focus on literacy for early learners. DC Councilmembers, State Board of Education representatives, and agency directors joined the deputy mayors and state superintendent in reading at one of many of the District’s child development facilities.

Last week, Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled her fiscal year 2018 (FY18) budget proposal announcing $15.3 million in new early childhood investments to improve access to affordable, high-quality infant and toddler care, continuing her commitment to early childhood learning and development. Read Across DC is part of OSSE’s celebration of the Month of the Young Child. The Month of the Young Child is an extension of the annual celebration of the Week of the Young Child sponsored by the National Association of the Education of Young Children, which honors early learning, young children, their teachers and families and promotes childhood literacy by encouraging children to read regularly.

“Reading to children stimulates their imagination, helps them develop critical thinking skills, and improves their attention span, which creates a pathway to academic achievement later in life,” said State Superintendent Kang.

“Research has shown that reading to infants and toddler is key for brain stimulation and positive child outcomes and early childhood development,” said Deputy Mayor Chung.

Volunteer readers enjoyed spending the day with child development center directors and their staff and participating in a tour of their learning campuses. Thirty-six child development centers participated in Read Across DC.

The DC Public Library’s Books from Birth program worked with St. Alban’s Early Childhood Center to enroll families so that they would receive a new book for their children every month until they turn age 5, in an effort to build home libraries for children and increase literacy.

For more information about the Read Across DC, visit osse.dc.gov.