During February of 2016, the Maine Department of Education’s Literacy for ME initiative organized and promoted the Read to ME Challenge. This simple but powerful campaign challenged adults to read to children for 15 minutes, to capture that reading episode via a photo and then post it on social media to challenge others to do the same. Over 100 Maine schools, community literacy teams and other literacy-related organizations partnered in the 2016 campaign and the Maine DOE is hoping that many more organizations will partner in the 2017 campaign scheduled to kick off the first week of February.
Reading aloud to children is one of the most cost effective and highly beneficial methods of building children’s literate abilities. The simple act of reading aloud to a child 15 minutes a day for five years results in 27,375 minutes of language exposure which can put children on the path to high literacy achievement. Reading aloud exposes children to the world around them, helps them see reading as an enjoyable and valuable activity and often strengthens bonds with trusted adults.
We invite your school or organization to join the challenge and to encourage community members to do the same. The collective voice of many key partners, leaders and those in respected positions will send a clear message about the vital importance reading to children plays in the social and economic well-being of Maine. Maine DOE also encourages partners to be creative and to use this opportunity to enhance ongoing literacy education outreach efforts.
If your organization is willing and able to promote the Read to ME Challenge, please follow this link to provide us with your contact information: Read to ME Challenge Partner 2017. Read to ME Challenge resources, including a guidance document, public service announcements, fliers and a list of engaging ways to incorporate the challenge will be available online in mid-December.
School officials and organizations with inquiries about participating in the Read to ME Challenge should contact Lee Anne Larsen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6628.