AMERICA READS Marks 20th Year!

October 21, 2016 02:11 PM

Hundreds of volunteers helped schools celebrate the 20th annual AMERICA READS: Reading Is Contagious literacy celebration. The event, held Oct. 20th and 21st, has become a fall tradition across the community, involving six school districts and reaching more than 16,000 students. The program was developed in the Cedar Rapids Community School District as a way to focus attention on the importance of reading aloud to young children to improve literacy.

Each year, elementary schools host events that celebrate reading to children, promote reading as a lifelong skill, focus attention on literacy in the schools, and demonstrate the joy of reading through community involvement. Numerous studies indicate that children who have been read to on a regular basis are the ones who become good readers. The United States Department of Education’s research indicates that reading just 30 minutes a day with a child significantly increases a child’s reading ability, stimulating cognitive skills; building motivation, curiosity, and memory; and also giving children the opportunity to practice listening.

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In addition to Cedar Rapids Community, participating school districts are College Community, Linn-Mar Community, Marion Independent, Summit, and Xavier Catholic schools. Other partners include Grant Wood Area Education Agency and five public libraries: Cedar Rapids, Ely, Fairfax, Hiawatha and Marion. Readers range from middle, high school and college students and parents to school neighbors, senior citizens, business people and community “celebrities.”







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