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TO:                  Superintendents of Schools and Elementary Principals


FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner


DATE:             May 12, 2003


RE:                   Read With Me Initiative/ Letter From Karen M. Baldacci


Principals in your district should have received a letter from First Lady, Karen M. Baldacci.  It announced that the Maine Reads Advisory Board has been awarded a major grant from the Verizon Foundation.  This grant will enable the Advisory Board to provide books to each Maine child entering kindergarten this fall.


The Read With Me Initiative encourages parents to read with their children every day.  Each child will receive a carry bag with two books by Maine authors, a bookmark with reading hints for parents, a suggested reading list and other resources. To participate in this program principals need to send back the card enclosed with the letter by May 23, 2003.  I hope that all of you encourage them to do so.


            Schools will also receive a video from Maine Public Broadcasting demonstrating effective models for reading with children.  Additional copies of the video are available through the Maine State Library distribution service (287- 5620).


            Questions regarding this initiative can be directed to Sue Plummer at 287-2121.