In March of 2021, House Resolutions HR 336 and HR 322 were signed in the Georgia General Assembly. Sponsored by Matt Dubnik (29-R), Chris Erwin (28-R), Becky Evans (83-D), Doreen Carter (92-D), Gregg Kennard (102-D), Matthew Wilson (80-D), and Betsy Holland (54-D), these resolutions recognize March as Georgia Reading Awareness Month.
These resolutions are a joint effort of Science for Georgia (the local affiliate of AAAS Local Science Engagement Network), the Technology Association of Georgia Education Collaborative, Breaking the Cycle of Health Disparities Inc, the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, Reach Out and Read Georgia, and Georgia Family Connection Partnership.
Science for Georgia works to connect science to the general public. This is accomplished by establishing best practices and identifying ways that scientific evidence can be implemented to affect change. For example, reading at grade-level by 3rd is the greatest indicator of high school graduation, regardless of parental education level or socioeconomic status. Unfortunately, in Georgia, 37% of 4th graders are reading below the National average for reading achievement.
To ensure all Georgia children meet this reading goal, they need to have a foundation in reading skills
when entering kindergarten. Read Aloud, a national nonprofit, suggests that children should be read to
for at least 15 minutes per day starting at age 6 months to promote kindergarten reading readiness.
Reading 15 minutes a day can change the course of a child’s life.
The passing of these resolutions highlighting Georgia Reading Awareness Month is step one in a three part plan to amplify reading and raise awareness of this important, but low-cost, way to positively
impact the future for Georgia children.
Secondly, the partnership has put together a resource directory that includes e-books, tips & tricks, and
fun ways to include reading in your life.
Finally, the partnership raised $1700 to donate books to Reach Out and Read GA and the Fulton County Library System to get books into the hands of more Georgia children, especially those who need them most. Reach Out and Read distributes books to kids at physician’s offices during well-child checkups and pediatricians talk to parents about the importance of reading. These books were purchased through an Atlanta Black-owned bookstore, the Bookworm.