Governor visits “Radical Readers” at Greenbelt Middle School; Lt. Governor reads to students at Garrett Heights Elementary/Middle School
ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 31, 2011) – Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown today closed out “Read Across Maryland” month by visiting schools in Prince George’s County and Baltimore City. The Governor, joined by Prince George’s County Superintendent Dr. William Hite, Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) President Clara Floyd, the Maryland Library Association, and the Maryland Association of School Librarians, recognized the “Radical Readers” at Greenbelt Middle School with certificates of completion. Following the award ceremony, the Governor and Dr. Hite read “Oh the Places You’ll Go” to the students.
“I am delighted to join the outstanding Radical Readers at Greenbelt Middle School to close out Read Across Maryland month this year,” said Governor O’Malley. “Thanks to our hardworking and dedicated educators, parents and students, Maryland has become a national model for quality, public education. We are asking educators and parents, whether at home or in the classroom, to encourage our children to read as often and as early as they can. Our children hold the future in their hands, and working together, we can ensure that they have the skills they need to mold and make a better world tomorrow.”
“I am proud to join Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown today in celebrating Read Across Maryland month,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. “Reading skills are critical to students’ success in the classroom and in the workforce. Through students’ participation in the Radical Readers initiative, we hope to spark a love of reading and enhance student achievement.”
This afternoon, the Lt. Governor read to fifth graders at Garrett Heights Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore City. The school’s mission is to provide a positive environment that is child-centered and developmentally appropriate by using an invitational approach to learning that will enable students to achieve their maximum potential.
“It is great to celebrate Read Across Maryland month with the bright and promising students of Garrett Heights,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Maryland has the best schools in the nation because we are committed to strengthening the bonds between educators, students and parents through innovative programs like Read Across Maryland. I am so proud of our students and our schools, and Governor O’Malley and I will continue working to ensure every child has access to the world-class education they need to succeed in the 21st Century economy.”
This year marks the third “Read Across Maryland” month. For the second year in a row, the O’Malley-Brown Administration is partnering with the Maryland State Education Association, the Maryland Library Association and the Maryland Association of School Librarians to encourage educators, parents and children to read 30 minutes for 30 days as part of a “30 for 30” theme.
“Read Across Maryland month has certainly gained the attention of students and Maryland citizens, and we are grateful to have Governor O'Malley and Lt. Governor Brown working with us to promote the importance reading," said Clara Floyd, MSEA President. “Many have answered our challenge to read 30 minutes for 30 days, and it's our hope that this challenge has sparked a greater interest in reading all year long."
For the third year in a row, Maryland’s public schools were ranked number one in the nation by Education Week Magazine. And according to the College Board, Maryland high school students rank number one in AP success for the third consecutive year. Maryland also achieved the highest MSA scores in state history. Throughout the month of March, Governor O’Malley, Lt. Governor Brown, First Lady Katie O’Malley <http://www.governor.maryland.gov/firstlady/pressreleases/110323.asp> and members of the Executive Cabinet join community leaders, elected officials and educators to participate in events across the state to promote the importance of reading and education.
The O’Malley-Brown Administration remains committed to protecting K-12 education by closing the gap in “readiness” for school, college, and the workforce; enhancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education; expanding career and technology education (CTE); and recruiting, retaining, and supporting world-class educators and principals. Maryland was named a winner in President Obama’s “Race to the Top” grant initiative, bringing $250 million in education funding to Maryland’s public schools. Since 2007, the Administration has invested record funding in K-12 public schools. For the fifth straight year, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has met or exceeded the Kopp Commission recommendations for school construction funding, bringing the total five-year funding level to more than $1.5 billion, a Maryland record. The State has also initiated a statewide longitudinal data system to track student progress through the P-20 education system and into the workforce <http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/msde/programs/arra/slds> . In 2009, the Administration launched the first-ever statewide educators survey, TELL Maryland, <http://www.tellmaryland.org/> to engage Maryland educators on teaching and learning conditions and paths to progress, and will launch the next survey in April.
For more information on Read Across Maryland month, please visit www.readacrossmaryland.org.