MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE Launches 2021 Read to ME Challenge with the Help of Maine Students

by Gerald E. Talbot Community School 5th grade student Hamdi Abdullahi

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is pleased to announce the kickoff of the 6th annual Read to ME Challenge today, Monday, February 1, 2021. This year, to help kick off the challenge in a virtual and COVID friendly way, students from across Maine have been invited to share video recordings of themselves reading their favorite book to encourage the love of reading across the state.

The Read to ME Challenge is a month-long public awareness campaign held in February to promote childhood literacy in Maine. The challenge is an opportunity to promote children’s literacy growth by reading aloud to one or more children for at least 15 minutes. Part of the challenge is capturing the moment via a photo or video and then posting it on social media (with the hashtag #ReadtoME and tag the Maine DOE at @mdoenews on Twitter and @MaineDepartmentofEducation1 on Facebook!)

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.

Some of the first set of videos are brought to you from members of the Maine DOE Student Cabinet along with other students from across Maine. The kick-off starts a video by Savea Lafaialii, one of the Student Cabinet’s Somerset County representatives with a reading of, “Strictly No Elephants” by Lisa Mantchev along with an another reading done by Gerald E. Talbot Community School 5th grade student Hamdi Abdullahi (pictured above) reading, “Creepy Carrots” by Aaron Reynolds.

The remaining student video readings will be released in the Maine DOE Newsroom an on the official Maine DOE Facebook and Twitter pages each day this week.

The Read to ME Challenge will run for the month of February, leading up to Read Across America Day on March 2, 2021. 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!

If you would like to request the videos be sent to you directly, please complete this form. If you would like to submit a video or for more information, contact Dee Saucier, Elementary Literacy Specialist for the Maine DOE.