For the 5th year, schools and community partners across Maine have collaborated with the Maine Department of Education to launch the Read to ME Challenge, a month-long public awareness campaign held in February to promote childhood literacy in Maine.
Lincoln Elementary School in Augusta helped kick off this year’s Challenge by hosting Commissioner Pender Makin who read Full, Full, Full of LOVE by Trish Cooke to an assembly of Kindergarten through 2nd grade students. Joining the Commissioner was Lincoln Elementary School Principal Heather Gauthier, Maine Senator Matthew Pouliot, Maine Representative Donna Doore, Augusta Superintendent James Anastasio, Augusta Assistant Superintendent Donna Madore, Augusta Title I Director Theresa Violette, and Augusta School Board Member Staci Fortunato, along with Lincoln Elementary School teachers, staff, community members, and other representatives from the Maine DOE.
After a warm greeting and introduction from Principal Gauthier, Commissioner Makin read to students and then issued a challenge to Governor Janet Mills and to all of the Commissioners in the Governor’s Cabinet to participate in the 2020 Read to ME Challenge campaign. This simple but powerful campaign challenges adults to read to children for 15 minutes, capture that moment via a photo or a video, and then post it on social media and challenge others to do the same. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ReadtoME and tag the Maine DOE at @mdoenews on Twitter and @MaineDepartmentofEducation1 on Facebook!
Following the reading and challenge, Maine Department of Education staff members Dee Saucier, Lee Anne Larsen, and Mary Hermon, along with Senator Matthew Pouliot, and Representative Donna Doore visited different classrooms at Lincoln Elementary and were among the first to take the Challenge.
The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month of February, leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2019. Learn more about the Read to ME Challenge on the Maine DOE Website, which includes a heat map of participants and an opportunity to submit your Read to ME story for the heat map!