Denise Juneau Teams Up with Local Non–Profit to Prepare Children for Success in School

Wednesday, December 16, 2009
by Jessica Rhoades
406.444.3160

Contacts:
Jessica Rhoades, OPI 406.444.3160
Bonnie Sachatello–Sawyer, Hopa Mountain 406.586.2455

Denise Juneau Teams Up with Local Non–Profit to Prepare Children for Success in School

Office of Public Instruction buys 5,400 books for rural and tribal Montana families, Hopa Mountain Foundation to match purchase

Helena, Mont. — More Montana parents and caregivers will have the opportunity to prepare their children for success with reading thanks to a new partnership between the Montana Office of Public Instruction and the Hopa Mountain Foundation, a Montana–based non–profit that heads up a statewide literacy initiative.

Today, Superintendent Denise Juneau's office announced the purchase of 5,400 high quality books for Montana children ages 0–5 living in families with limited access to early learning resources. Juneau says she hopes the partnership will give parents and caregivers tools and information to help them prepare their children to become successful readers and learners. Hopa Mountain will match the purchase in the spring of 2010.

"Literacy is the first building block children need to reach their full potential," said Juneau. "When we get books into the hands of parents during the preschool years, we support them as they lay the essential foundations for learning during the school years."

Many studies indicate that babies, toddlers and preschoolers will have improved school and life outcomes if members of their families spend a little time each day reading books with them. Bonnie Sachatello–Sawyer, Executive Director of Hopa Mountain said, "We are pleased to partner with OPI's Indian Education Division to support families of preschool children in Montana communities. We know that early practice with sounds and words builds strong connections in children's developing brains — connections that will enhance learning throughout the school years and beyond. We owe all our children the best early learning foundations we can provide."

Hopa Mountain is a Bozeman nonprofit that invests in citizen leaders who are working to improve education, ecological health, and economic development in their home communities. Hopa Mountain's StoryMakers program, an early literacy initiative led by teams of local community leaders around the state, offers parents early learning resources, along with personalized encouragement to actively promote the early learning within family life that leads to children's success in school.

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Jessica Rhoades
Communications Director
p: 406.444.3160
c: 406.431.0151
f: 406.444.9299

Montana Office of Public Instruction
Denise Juneau, Superintendent

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