• Seventeenth Annual Volunteer and School Recognition Ceremony for Monterey County Reads

    Secretary Leon E. Panetta to Give Keynote Address 

    A special celebration will be held in recognition of 180 Monterey County Reads volunteers for their dedication in helping children achieve grade level literacy skills.  These volunteers will be honored alongside the 40 elementary schools who welcome the volunteers into their classrooms and whose teachers and administrators help make the program possible.  This Volunteer and School Recognition Ceremony will be held on Friday, September 12 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Monterey Peninsula College Marina Education Center (map and directions attached).  In honor of their dedication and outstanding work in helping local elementary school children improve their reading skills, volunteers will receive certificates of recognition along with special pins.  Participating schools will also receive a certificate honoring their important participation and support.

    Providing the keynote address will be Secretary Leon E. Panetta, chairman of the Panetta Institute and former Secretary of Defense.  The ceremony will also feature remarks from volunteers, teachers and school superintendents.  “America is at a crossroads,” noted Secretary Panetta.  “We can either become a country in renaissance, or we can become a country in decline.  If our nation and our democracy are going to thrive it is essential that we give our children the vital skill of literacy.  The volunteers and schools that will be recognized at this event are helping secure the success of our nation for this and future generations.”

    Now in its eighteenth year, Monterey County Reads volunteers continue to work with children throughout Monterey County.  These volunteers include parents, business owners, members of religious and service organizations as well as high school, college, university and military students, to name some.  Volunteers receive training from literacy specialists, followed by on-site orientations before beginning regular one-to-one reading sessions with specially selected children in the early elementary grades.  Since the program’s inception, more than 2,800 volunteers have read with 14,000 children for nearly 112,000 hours.

    In April 2013, Monterey County Reads, along with the Leon Panetta Lecture Series student program, was selected to receive the Excellence in Education Award by the Monterey County School Boards Association.  These programs were recognized by the association to have a significant, transformative impact on students’ education and/or well being, and exceeding expectations in pursuit of addressing unmet student needs.

    Monterey County Reads is a tremendous example of the power of partnerships to improve our communities and protect the well being of our children,” explained Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia M. Panetta.  “This program brings together members of the community from diverse backgrounds with schools and struggling young readers in order to give our youth the gift of literacy.  We salute their commitment and hard work and recognize their service and accomplishment.”

    At the conclusion of each semester, participating children receive a new storybook recognizing their efforts.  Since 1997, Monterey County Reads has distributed more than 12,000 storybooks to the children participating in the program.  Nine hundred books were distributed in the 2013-2014 school year alone.

    This Volunteer and School Recognition Ceremony is sponsored by the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, the Monterey County Office of Education and the Monterey County Reading Association.

    For more information, please call the Panetta Institute for Public Policy at 831-582-4200.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on September 11, 2014

    Topics: Front PG News

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