Jean Rounds leads reading celebration

Jean Rounds leads reading celebration First Lady Jean Rounds joined 36 other First Ladies from across the nation to be an Ambassador of Reading for South Dakota, on Friday, Dec. 5 as part of the fifth annual Scholastic Read For 2004 reading initiative, Read for 2004 Day.

The First Lady hopes every South Dakota citizen joined her on Dec. 5 and read a book, especially to a child. She spent that day reading a book to children in all the elementary schools in Pierre.

"We know from all the research that has been done, reading helps build better lives and better futures for our children," said Mrs. Rounds. "All children across South Dakota and the nation deserve to experience the joy of reading a book which is why promoting reading is such a passion of mine."

The First Lady will show her commitment to reading by celebrating with children and donating 500 books from Scholastic Book Clubs to 17 schools across the state. Each school will receive approximately 25 books. According to Mrs. Rounds the schools chosen to receive the books are small rural schools, urban schools that have been identified as needing improvement as part of No Child Left Behind, schools with combined community/school library services and private schools.

The schools receiving the free Scholastic books are: Laura B. Anderson Elementary � Sioux Falls, McLaughlin, Newell, Todd County Middle School, Tyndall elementary, Lake Preston, St. Joseph Elementary � Pierre, General Beadle Elementary � Rapid City, Eagle Butte Elementary, Jefferson Elementary � Pierre, Waubay, Faith, Bennett County, Iroquois, Alcester-Hudson, Centerville, O'Gorman High School � Sioux Falls.

"I am certain children attending the 18 schools receiving the Scholastic books will put them to good use right away," said Jean Rounds. "The books are high quality and will be wonderful additions to their libraries."

If scholastic continues the program next year, the First Lady will donate books to different schools in the state.

The First Lady will lead a statewide celebration of reading, encouraging children, teachers, parents and all South Dakota citizens to take time during the day to read a book.

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