Poughkeepsie launches Mission Literacy

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Mayor Rolison encourages the kids to keep reading

POUGHKEEPSIE –Members of Poughkeepsie government, teachers and students visited City Hall, Thursday morning, to announce the launch of Mission Literacy.
Mission Literacy is a partnership between the local government, public school system, community organizations, faith-based organizations, local businesses and parents to promote literacy, continued learning over the summer vacation, independent reading and critical thinking for young students.
Mayor Robert Rolison said he is excited to be involved in this partnership with the school system because the two entities rely on each other for providing the best opportunities to the city’s children. In this case, it’s providing opportunities for literacy.
“Everything we do comes back to literacy and I think it’s so important that the school district is focused on this because sometimes if there are certain things that we don’t do good, or don’t try to do good, we can’t do other things,” said Rolison.
Poughkeepsie School Superintendent Dr. Nicole` Williams agreed that the collaborative effort is crucial to the success of the initiative.
“Our goal is to work collectively, in a coordinated effort, to launch strategic initiatives focused on literacy that incentivize, and support, the development of exemplary practices to improve interdisciplinary literacy and ensure that our students have an opportunity to develop a lifelong love for the key domains in their educational trajectory,” said Williams.
A key part of this initiative is the “book baskets” where, in locations across the city, children will have access to free literature.
“The book baskets, decorated by the children, will be placed in businesses throughout the city and the students will have the opportunity to read books,” said Smith School teacher Maribeth Smith. A young student selecting a book and having a parent read it to them could be better than just playing a video game, she said. If they really like the book, they can take it with them.
Last summer, Smith and pre-school teacher Joy Marino, with the help of the Poughkeepsie Public Teachers’ Association and Poughkeepsie Public School District, donated over 1,200 books to children throughout the city with the Book Basket program.
With the enhancement of the Mission Literacy initiative, Poughkeepsie has set a goal to make their school district rank within the top 10 percent of the 700 school districts in the state by the year 2020.