Home > Boston Mayor Michelle Wu Reads to First Grade Students at the Mildred Ave K-8 School on last day of National Reading Month

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu Reads to First Grade Students at the Mildred Ave K-8 School on last day of National Reading Month

Read to a Child logo, with green and blue persons above a book, with an orange arc above them, and Read to a Child written in blue below.
Boston Public Schools logo, with blue person reaching upwards and Boston Public Schools written in black.

Event highlights Read to a Child’s kickoff of its fifth BPS partnership

BOSTON – Friday, March 31, 2023 – Mayor Michelle Wu today joined Boston Public Schools and national non-profit Read to a Child to mark the final day of National Reading Month by reading aloud to first grade students at the Mildred Ave K-8 School in Mattapan. The day showcased the importance of reading aloud, marked the launch of the organization’s Read Aloud Mentoring Program at the Mildred Ave K-8 School and highlighted its fifth partnership with a BPS school.

“Reading is a fundamental part of our children’s educational growth and success and has the power to nurture imagination and perspective,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I am grateful to Read to a Child for expanding its partnership with Boston Public Schools and their continued efforts to bring more volunteers into our schools to serve as reading mentors for our young people.”

Mayor Wu read My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World written by Super Bowl champion and author Malcolm Mitchell. The book’s theme is to find yourself in the books you read and find books you love to read.  Mayor Wu was presented with a copy of the book autographed by Malcolm and signed by all of the first graders.  Read to a Child also provided each child with an autographed, personal copy of the book to bring home.

“I am thankful to Read to a Child and so pleased that Mildred Ave students will now receive the same critical interventions other students do at the Adams, Condon, Harvard-Kent and Tobin schools with this new partnership with Read to a Child,” said Superintendent Mary Skipper. “The Read Aloud Mentoring Program model of high dosage and long duration will benefit our students by increasing their literacy and building up their socio-emotional skills. This highly impactful program will ensure that our students are connected with caring adults to foster a life-long love of reading.”

BPS Reading and English Language Arts classes are designed to support students with building their reading skills and asking them to tackle difficult questions about themes, word choice, and making connections to real world events and situations. Reading also helps to expand student vocabulary.

“Both Mayor Wu’s and Superintendent Skipper’s commitment to improving literacy skills, rebounding from the pandemic and closing the achievement gap is evident,” said Read to a Child CEO, Paul Lamoureux.  “After hearing Mayor Wu read Malcolm Mitchell’s book today and seeing her interact with the Mildred Ave first graders, her love for Boston public school children is also extremely evident.”

In our school buildings, students also have access to a wide range of e-books and audio books. BPS also has a partnership with the Massachusetts Library System (MLS), which allows us to open more doors for students to learn more about the world around them. We are committed to BPS’ three-year library investment, improving libraries with new books, electronic resources, furniture, technology, and librarians.

“Our school is excited about its new partnership with Read to a Child and thankful for the organization providing so many volunteer reading mentors, as well as personal copies of My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World,” said Kristina Reeves-Barber, Principal of Mildred Ave K-8 School.  “As part of the mentoring relationships that develop in the Read Aloud Mentoring Program, I look forward to even more of our students improving their reading skills and, thanks to the one-on-one time, developing a love of reading and improving their self-confidence.”

The Mildred Ave K-8 School is Read to a Child’s 5th partnership with BPS, and is one of 16 public schools in greater Boston and one of more than 30 schools nationally, where Read to a Child operates its Read Aloud Mentoring Program. Read to a Child recruits, vets, trains and manages a force of thousands of corporate and community volunteers who read aloud (during lunch) one-on-one to children who are referred by their teacher into the program.

About the Read Aloud Mentoring Program

In the Read Aloud Mentoring Program an adult is partnered one-on-one with a student attending one of its partner elementary schools for a rewarding, weekly read aloud experience. The relationship lasts for the entire school year and often extends for multiple years through the end of fourth grade. The simple act of reading aloud to a child once a week, over time, ignites a love of reading, improves literacy and socio-emotional skills and can have a profound impact on the child’s future. The Read Aloud Mentoring Program also offers the adult a convenient, joyful, and meaningful way to give back. The program, which is available at no-cost to partner schools, is managed on-site at each partner school by a Read to a Child program coordinator and requires limited resources from each school.

About Read to a Child

Read to a Child (readtoachild.org) is a national literacy and mentoring non-profit that fosters a love of reading, improves literacy skills and supports socio-emotional well-being in students from under-resourced communities. Read to a Child collaborates with thousands of community and corporate volunteer mentors from more than 125 local businesses and organizations who read one-on-one to elementary students at more than 30 Title 1 schools in 18 under-resourced districts in the greater metropolitan areas of Boston, Detroit, Hartford, Los Angeles and Miami. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Kristen Baxter                                                              

Read to a Child                                                            BPS Communications                                             

401-316-2148                                                              617-635-9265

kristen.baxter@readtoachild.org                               communications@bostonpublicschools.org

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