BANGOR – Dirigo Reads, a program that goals to place a e-book within the arms of each Maine first grader every month through the college 12 months by 2025, is saying the addition of 36 faculties that can take part in this system through the subsequent college 12 months. This brings the whole variety of taking part faculties to 87 for the 2022-23 college 12 months, and will increase the variety of estimated first graders in Maine to obtain new books each month by way of this system by about 77 %, or roughly 1,200 further college students.
“Final 12 months, Dirigo Reads gave out greater than 15,000 books to first graders in Maine,” stated Karen Cashman, co-founder of Dirigo Reads. “Within the span of three college years, Dirigo Reads has put greater than 27,000 books within the arms of Maine youngsters. With the addition of 36 extra faculties unfold over 22 communities, that quantity will proceed to develop.”
Dirigo Reads’ mission is to enhance the well being and wellbeing of kids in Maine by way of literacy and share a bit optimism alongside the best way. That is completed by giving first graders in taking part faculties a model new e-book to maintain throughout each month of the college 12 months. It started in 2019 with six communities and can develop to incorporate 87 faculties through the 2022-23 college 12 months. Estimates on the variety of college students enrolled within the faculties will deliver this system from serving roughly 1,600 college students every month to roughly 2,800 college students every month beginning within the fall.
“Final 12 months, it was an enormous deal for this program so as to add some bigger communities with a number of faculties when Bangor and Auburn had been added to the record,” stated Dan Cashman, co-founder of Dirigo Reads. “This 12 months, because it expands even additional, Dirigo Reads is proud so as to add Portland and Augusta to this program. Three new counties are additionally becoming a member of this system for the primary time this 12 months: York, Cumberland, and Oxford Counties, which means that Dirigo Reads will probably be distributing free books to first graders each month of the college 12 months in each certainly one of Maine’s 16 counties.”
Dirigo Reads is operationally supported by United Method of Japanese Maine, and the founding Dirigo Star companion is Machias Financial savings Financial institution.
“Dirigo Reads went from a pilot program in ‘regular’ instances to a program that’s making a distinction within the lives of a whole lot of first graders throughout unsure instances,” stated Larry Barker, president, and CEO of Machias Financial savings Financial institution. “We knew instantly that Dirigo Reads can be an essential a part of first graders’ lives as soon as it obtained began, however we couldn’t have predicted simply how essential it could develop into for teenagers all around the state. Machias Financial savings Financial institution is proud to be part of this program, and completely satisfied to know that this system continues to increase to incorporate extra college students from throughout Maine. By saying Sure! to Dirigo Reads, collectively, we’re constructing stronger readers, which creates a stronger general training for the youth in Maine.”
Extra companions of Dirigo Reads embody, Bangor Financial savings Financial institution, Sutherland Weston Advertising Communications, Northern Gentle Well being, Altering Seasons Federal Credit score Union, Woodlands Senior Residing, PCHC, United Method of Japanese Maine, Cross Insurance coverage, Hannaford, and The First. Extra companions are crucial for this system to achieve extra first graders.
“Dirigo Reads wouldn’t exist with out these companions, and it completely can’t develop with out further companions,” stated Dan Cashman. “There are many choices from which to help Dirigo Reads for each giant and small companies, and we will probably be spending the following couple of months feverishly reaching out to potential companions to ensure this program is sustainable. However we’re often requested how individuals might help, and essentially the most important approach to assist this program is to attach us with a enterprise seeking to put some cash towards a really worthwhile effort.”
There are about 12,000 first graders enrolled in Maine public faculties. Dirigo Reads offered books to about 13 % of this inhabitants within the final college 12 months, and can improve to about 23.2 % of first graders in Maine for the 2022-23 college 12 months.
Colleges and companies enthusiastic about being part of Dirigo Reads ought to go to www.DirigoReads.org and click on on “Contact,” the place a kind is out there to submit all crucial info.
Any organizations enthusiastic about partnering with Dirigo Reads, or faculties with first grade courses that want to be a part of this system can discover extra particulars at www.DirigoReads.org.