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         When they read, we all succeed
                         A Dynamic First Year!
Mayor Claude Ramsey stated at the launch of Read 20, November            course of the year.
2005, “There is nothing more important to the long-term success of       We also launched our website, which houses
this community and each of its citizens, than the ability of each        links to other literacy websites, as well as tips for parents and a
child to read well and at grade level, by the end of 3rd grade. We       listing of all of the resources and services for early literacy across
have the opportunity and capacity to positively change the lives of      Hamilton County for infants and young children.
children across Hamilton County – quickly, profoundly, and with
                                                                         We have distributed 15,200 reading logs, which are a tool for
long-lasting effects.”
                                                                         parents to measure the amount of reading they do with their
Mayor Ramsey, our board chair, Vicky Gregg, and the rest of the          child(ren) each day .
Read 20 board understand why this is so important for our commu-
                                                                         Read 20 provides tips to parents through a partnership with the
nity. They fully understand that a child’s ability to read effectively
                                                                         Chattanooga Parent Magazine on a monthly basis.
directly impacts his or her future opportunities for success in all
aspects of life.                                                         So far, there have been 75 opportunities for reading aloud with
                                                                         children involving 82 readers and 1,746 children through vari-
Research tells us that the number of children’s books in the home
                                                                         ous venues, including our partnership with WSMC 90.5 fm, the
directly relates to a child’s reading proficiency. In fact, 61% of low
                                                                         classical radio station on Thursday mornings at 10:10, and at
income families have no children’s books in their homes, and on
                                                                         the Hamilton County Fair, Ronald McDonald Children’s Fair,
average, there is only 1 children’s book available for every 300 chil-
                                                                         and of course, ReadFest, our annual reading festival held each
dren in poor communities. This is in contrast to the average 13
children’s books available per child in middle income neighbor-
hoods.                                                                   We are in the midst of a collaborative partnership with Hamil-
                                                                         ton County Schools by conducting trainings for high school
We also know that the average middle class first grader has been
                                                                         students who will be reading regularly in elementary classrooms.
read to more than 1,250 hours by the time he/she enters first grade.
                                                                         Some of these students will receive service learning credit while
For some children in low income families, the comparable figure is
                                                                         others will be getting classroom experience as members of the
only 25 hours.
                                                                         Teachers’ Academy at Red Bank High.
One of the most disconcerting facts, at least in my opinion, is that
several states use 3rd grade reading levels as the determining factor    Read 20 has been engaging and encouraging community literacy
in new prison construction plans.                                        efforts focused on early childhood development through conven-
                                                                         ing community members to support efforts in improving early
Providing children with the opportunity to learn basic reading skills    childhood literacy. One of the aspects of this work, as I men-
and fostering an appreciation for books creates a desire for learning    tioned earlier, is the listing of resources and services for early
and makes a lifelong difference for every child. We also know,           childhood literacy on our website. A large group of community
through research, that children that read or are read to for at least    volunteers worked together to create the list. This same group
20 minutes each day have the propensity for greater success as read-     of community leaders has also determined where there are gaps
ers as well as in school throughout their lives: hence the name Read     in resources and services for early literacy and they are in the
20.                                                                      beginning stages of determining potential ways to fill the gaps
The Mission for Read 20 is clear. Read 20 is a public/private part-      with expanded resources and services.
nership promoting literacy skills for early childhood, in an effort      Read 20 is also working to increase efficiency and effectiveness
to create a community of readers, and in support of Hamilton             of existing community resources by identifying potential partner-
County’s community literacy goal.                                        ships and strategic alliances. We are formally partnering with 44
Read 20 is working toward its mission through promoting reading          organizations in a variety of capacities already. The Read 20
to infants and young children, engaging and encouraging commu-           Readmobile is one of those collaborative partnerships. This
nity literacy efforts focused on early childhood development (birth      partnership with Hamilton County Department of Education
through age 8), and activating our community.                            and the Chattanooga Housing Authority, and many others is
Read 20 has been promoting reading with infants and young chil-          focused on the distribution of books for young children across
dren through increased public awareness on reading aloud for at          the county. These are books for them to own and keep. It is
least 20 minutes a day.                                                  not a lending process, but a way to impact the lives of children
To this end, we launched a media/PR campaign in August with              through owning their own books.
billboards which are spread out across the community. Billboards         Continued on Page 3
will continue to be placed throughout the community over the
                                             90.5Classical FM and Read 20
                                            Every Thursday morning at
                                            10:10am Read 20 partners with
                                            WSMC 90.5 Classical FM to
                                            provide a wonderful
      Happy Holidays from
                                            opportunity for guest readers to
                                            read aloud to children.
   Siskin Children’s Institute
                                            Read 20 recruits the guest
                                                                                 The L
                                            readers and the audience of               ibrary
                                                                            wants              Drago
                                            children for each weekly               you to           n
                                                                           stars          see ou
                                            program. A extraordinary             from            r WSM
                                                                                       the th          C
                                            book that is age and                      mind! tre of the
                                            content appropriate is chosen
                                            for the upcoming LIVE broadcast.

           EPB’s very own
                Dr. Shock

           The coolest thing!
WSMC archives every broadcast
  by book title, author, date of
broadcast and name of group so                                                                                                 er
                                                                Remember the ducks                                         rk
that you can listen to your book                                                                                         Pa
                                                                from ReadFest ‘07?                                  am       ter
 again and again. You can even                                                                                  rah l Cen er
                                                                                                             .G       a         h
                                                               You may feed them at                        Dr Sign bout
download the broadcast to your                                 the pond just outside                         Of         a    ,
              IPOD.                                                                                               i n g ds        el
                                                                 WSMC’s station.
                                                                                                             R ead frien apha

                                                                                                    How would you like to
                                                                                                     participate in a LIVE
                                                                                               broadcast with WSMC?
                                                                                             You can participate as an
 Senator Bo Watson & Allen Elementary Students                                               ENTHUSIASTIC GUEST READER
                                                                                                    OR AS AN
                                                          Thin                              INTERACTIVE LISTENING AUDIENCE MEMBER !
                                                      Kare     g1a
                                                                      nd T
                                                 Ga n      n (D
                                                                r. Se      hing                Contact Read 20
                                                     ns M            uss)       2 wit
                                                          iddle           Holl         h
                                                                 Valle        is f r             423.209.6190
                                                                       y Ele         om
                                                                                t a ry

                        St. Jude 5th Graders with their fabulous science teacher

    When they read, we all succeed                                                                                                    Page 2
Continued from Page 1...
Read 20 has been also working toward providing opportunities for parents, teachers, and other community/business members to
engage children in reading. One of those opportunities has involved on-going training on comprehension strategies for Pre-K through
3rd grade teachers. This is another example of the collaborative partnership with the public schools, some day cares, and a few private
schools. We were fortunate enough to have one of the co-authors of 7 Keys to Comprehension, Susan Zimmermann come to Chatta-
nooga last February and train over 175 teachers, parents, and administrators in the techniques that are described in the book. Most of
the principals, along with some of their teachers, from each of the public elementary schools, a few private schools, and some day care
professionals participated in the training.
Six elementary public schools in Hamilton County have been focused on utilizing these techniques and have even been training groups
of parents. We are currently working with Hamilton County Department of Education and a focus group including those principals
to determine additional strategies that we can do to engage more schools and provide more opportunities for using the techniques
from the book.
Another exciting new project we are in the midst of developing is a recognition program that highlights students who are reading on or
above grade level in all elementary schools. The planning for this work has just begun, but we expect to be able to recognize every stu-
dent who is meeting this goal through fifth grade by the end of the school year.
Read 20 commissioned research this past year to better understand local reading behaviors, and to set benchmarks for improvement.
The survey process measured the value of reading which will be used to guide decisions concerning the use of resources across the
Read 20 is continuing to involve parents, early childhood educators, and all other community members through multiple grass roots
activities. Many of these activities include ways for parents and children to interact with books and/or read aloud, or simply participate
in activities such as ReadFest, Imagination Library, Read Across America, JumpStart’s Read for the Record, and the Read With Me
programs partnering with WSMC as well as within the public schools.
Read 20 is in the beginning stages of the development of a participation program using decals. These decals, which will be the type
that can adhere to glass, will become the visible symbols for individuals, business, churches, civic groups, and other community mem-
bers who are reading with children for at least 20 minutes each day.
The benefits are endless. Yet it will take the cooperation of all who touch the lives of the children in our community to accomplish the
task of meeting the community’s reading goal. It will take every sector of Hamilton County to help children read to succeed. Various
community constituencies already are coalescing behind this work, from county government, to business leaders, to educators, to citi-
zens county-wide. There are many ways for each and every one of us to be involved. You can find a list of ideas you can choose from to
become involved at no cost! The ideas on this list can be applied to various settings, such as churches, civic groups, and others, just to
name a few. I would like to close with a quote and my personal goal:
Famed educator and former Harvard University President Charles W. Eliot once said,
                                         “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends;
                                         They are the most accessible and wisest of counselors,
                                                     and the most patient of teachers.”
It is my personal goal that through Read 20, the leadership of Mayor Claude Ramsey and Board Chair Vicky Gregg, and all of our com-
munity’s efforts, we will collectively strengthen that bond between our children and their books and will forge new relationships for
those children who have yet to fully experience the wonders of reading. Thereby creating a community of readers!

                                                                                             WATCH FOR IT !
                                                                                             Books for children
                                                                                           Activities for Children
                                                                                            THE BEST MOBILE
       IT IS ON ITS WAY TO A LOCATION NEAR                                                 READ ALOUD EVER!

 When they read, we all succeed                                                                                                Page 3
                     SAVE the DATE
                Saturday, April 26, 2008
                    10 am until 2pm
                     Finley Stadium
                  Inside and Outside !

   IF you would like to participate in the event, please
              Contact the Read 20 office at
               423.209.6190 or email Shula
               Opportunities are limitless !
Be an enthusiastic, energetic guest reader or storyteller !
    Share your school performance with an audience !
       Share your talent as a contributing artist !
        Share a related activity for the children !
             You are cordially invited to join Read 20
                Susan Zimmerman, coauthor of
                     7 Keys to Comprehension

One of two sessions hosted by the
University of TN at Chattanooga
         Student Center
        10 am—12 noon

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