ADVANCING THE ARTS ACROSS MARYLAND

Department of Commerce Secretary Christian Johansson Reads Across Maryland

Department of Commerce Secretary Christian Johansson Reads Across Maryland

Secretary Christian Johansson visited Southwest Baltimore Charter to read to first graders as part of the Read Across Maryland challenge. The Secretary joins the Governor and Lt. Governor in an effort to encourage parents, teachers, and students to read every day for 30 days for the month of March. Read Across Maryland is part of the National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America, an annual reading motivation and awareness program.

March 25, 2010Arts Across Maryland

Secretary Johansson read Sootface by Robert San Souci, a Native American version of the popular Cinderella story, to 20 captivated students, on March 23. The students are currently studying the Lumbee Indians, a tribe from North Carolina that is of Native American and African descent and is a growing population in Baltimore.

At the invitation of Principal Turi Nilsson, the Secretary also visited a rehearsal of a student puppet show inspired by the Indus River Valley civilization, part of a residency with Maryland State Arts Council artist-in-residence Black Cherry Puppet Theater. Founding director Michael Lamason was on hand to share the program’s success at Southwest Baltimore Charter, and explained that the students had written scripts to convince the audience of the merits of this ancient civilization.

NEA's Read Across America also provides NEA members, parents, caregivers, and children the resources and activities they need to keep reading on the calendar 365 days a year.The program celebrates reading and in honor of the March 2nd birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

In cities and towns across the nation, teachers, teenagers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents, grandparents, and others develop NEA's Read Across America activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages. Governors, mayors, and other elected officials recognize the role reading plays in their communities with proclamations and floor statements. Athletes and actors issue reading challenges to young readers. And teachers and principals seem to be more than happy to dye their hair green or be duct-taped to a wall if it boosts their students' reading. To learn more or get involved go to the NEA’s website