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HCPSS, Bright Minds and HC Early Childhood Advisory Council Introduce Read With Me: Howard County Pilot Program

September 26th, 2018

The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS), the Bright Minds Foundation and the Howard County Early Childhood Advisory Council (HCECAC) introduce Read With Me • Howard County – an affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a pilot program that will provide a book per month to families of young children at three schools and their surrounding communities. The pilot schools are Laurel Woods, Phelps Luck and Swansfield elementary schools.

“As educators, we know that the achievement gap begins at birth,” said HCPSS Superintendent Michael J. Martirano. “In collaboration with Bright Minds and our county partners, Read With Me • Howard County is another support that we are able to provide to families, so students are prepared to thrive upon entering kindergarten.”

“We are thrilled to be the local champion of Read With Me • Howard County because we understand it is the responsibility of the entire community to support the academic achievement of our children,” said Bright Minds Foundation Executive Director Liz Crammond. “Read With Me is a wonderful opportunity for our educational foundation to further align with the school system’s efforts in promoting school readiness.”

Read with Me • Howard County is possible in part thanks to a partnership with HCECAC. Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman, who approved funding for the initiative, explained, “Giving a young child a book is the best way to get them interested in learning, and it helps them to become better prepared to start school. Learning needs to begin early to give students the best foundation to achieve academically. Programs like this are vital to a child’s success.”

Read With Me is part of Launch Into Learning, an early learning initiative supported by HCECAC. Launch Into Learning also comprises the Talk With Me and ReadyRosie initiatives.

Read With Me • Howard County is looking to launch in late fall 2018 as part of the national Imagination Library program, which mails free, high-quality books to children, from birth to age 5. The Bright Minds Foundation will work with local community partners and donors with the goal of expanding the program to all Howard County communities.