Superintendent Juneau Joins with Missoula Osprey to Support Summer Reading


Wednesday, June 27, 2012
By Allyson Hagen
406-444-3160

Superintendent Juneau Joins with Missoula Osprey to Support Summer Reading
Visits Missoula Boys and Girls Club and Throws out the First Pitch at Osprey Game

Missoula, MT – Superintendent Denise Juneau visited the Missoula Boys and Girls Club with Ollie the Osprey and threw out the first pitch at the Osprey game on Wednesday, June 27, to support the Missoula Osprey's successful Hit the Books program and to encourage local students to take her Summer 6 Reading Challenge.

"This summer, I'm reaching out to students, parents, libraries, schools and organizations that serve children during the summer and asking them to join me in taking the Summer 6 Reading Challenge to make sure students don't lose the reading skills they've worked so hard on during the school year while they are on summer vacation," said Superintendent Juneau. "The Missoula Osprey have stepped up to the plate to make reading exciting for students in Missoula. Their program is a great example of how communities can play a role in supporting student success."

The 2011 Osprey Hit the Books Reading Program encouraged over 4,000 area students to read over 50,000 books.  There were over 250 classrooms and nearly 5,000 students signed up to participate in the 2012 edition of Hit the Books. The program gives away more than $100,000 in prizes annually.

“We are honored that Superintendent Juneau will be in Missoula on Wednesday to show her support for our reading program,” said Missoula Osprey Vice President/General Manager Jeff Griffin.  “As an organization, community involvement is one of our top priorities and we have worked extremely hard over the last 13 years to make this one of the best reading programs in all of professional baseball.  We are very proud of all of the students' achievements, most notably that over 50,000 books are read each year during a six week period.  That statistic alone is amazing.”

Research shows that students who don’t read during the summer break run the risk of losing some of their reading comprehension skills and have a much harder time catching up when school starts again in the fall. This is called the “summer slide.” Over the years, the achievement gap widens between students who read during the summer break and those who don’t. Research also demonstrates that reading just six books during the summer can help keep a struggling reader from falling behind.

More than 600 students have taken Superintendent Juneau's Summer 6 Reading Challenge since June 1, and more than 3,000 books will be distributed by her office this summer to young readers.

Juneau has also launched a web page where students can sign up to take the "Summer 6 Reading Challenge" and become eligible for prizes. The web page also has tips for families, schools and libraries to encourage summer reading.  For more information and to take the challenge, go to: http://opi.mt.gov/read6books.

Juneau will be at the Missoula Boys and Girls Club, 1515 Fairview Ave, at 10 am, and she will throw out the first pitch at the Missoula Osprey game at 7:00 pm and award books to students who take the challenge throughout the game. 

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