For Immediate Release - January 07, 2011

Governor Patrick visits Dorchester School to Emphasize Education Reform Strategies

Visit highlights continued focus on education reform efforts in the Patrick-Murray Administration's second term

Reading to Kindergarteners

At left, Governor Patrick signs the "Readers are Leaders" roster after reading to both kindergarteners and sixth graders at the Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School in Dorchester. At right, Governor Patrick reads to a group of kindergarteners at the school.
(Photo Credit: Matt Bennett/Governor's Office)

BOSTON - Friday, January 7, 2011 - Governor Deval Patrick today read to a group of sixth grade students at the Martin Luther King, Jr. K - 8 School in Dorchester to emphasize the importance of early literacy and the role that reading plays in a successful education. The Governor has made closing the education achievement gap a top priority for his second term, and noted improving early literacy rates as a key strategy for success.

The Governor today participated in the King school's "Readers are Leaders" program that welcomes members of the community to meet with students and discuss the significant role that reading has played in their lives to reinforce the daily lessons of teachers in the school.

"The ability to read and read well early in a child's education is a critical factor in setting them on the path to reach academic proficiency," said Governor Patrick. "We will accelerate our efforts to ensure that all students develop a deep appreciation and love of reading while sharpening the skills that will help them today and throughout their education."

Massachusetts leads the nation in education reform and student achievement, and the Patrick-Murray Administration is committed to continuing the progress of the last four years. The Governor has invested in education at historic levels and intends to fully implement measures outlined in his landmark Achievement Gap Act of 2010 which outlines strategies to accelerate the turn-around of the state's lowest performing schools and efforts to promote school choice by expanding the number of charter schools in the state while also authorizing new Innovation Schools. The state's efforts will be bolstered by the Commonwealth's successful Race to the Top proposal which earned the highest score in the nation and $250 million to help implement education reform strategies.

About Readers are Leaders:

King School Principal Jessica Bolt initiated the "Readers are Leaders" program to reinforce the message she and her staff deliver every day to encourage students to develop a deep love for reading by inviting community leaders to come in and read to students and discuss their reading habits and philosophy to show the children that reading is something that stays with you beyond school. Governor Patrick joins a growing list of local leaders who have participated in the program including members of the Charles Street A.M.E. and Wellesley Congregational Churches and other groups coming in to read to students so far this year.

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