Letters to the Editor: March 2, 2014

other_letters_editorGet ready to read all across America on Monday

As a teacher and president of the Houston Association of Educators, which is part of the Mississippi Association of Educators (MAE) and member of the National Education Association, I work every day to encourage my students to pick up a book and read. And, as a member of the National Education Association (NEA), I would like your help in participating in the nation’s largest reading celebration on Monday, NEA’s Read Across America Day.

What a great way to get kids excited about reading! NEA’s Read Across America has grown into a year-long program that culminates every year on or around Dr. Seuss’s birthday. And this year, more than 45 million readers, both young and old, will gear up to deliver a message: Kids who read, and who are read to, do better in school and help build great public schools. In fact, a recent reading assessment of fourth-grade students by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) found that reading for fun had a positive relationship to NAEP reading scores. Taking time to read with a child is one of the most important lessons that parents can share with their children. I hope you will join me Monday to celebrate the joy of reading.

I want to remind parents of the crucial role they play in their children’s education because it’s a fact: Children who read frequently are better readers and better students. I would like to ask fellow community members to put aside the many hats they wear for work and play and don the ultimate reading hat, the red and white striped stovepipe made famous by the Cat in the Hat, on Monday.

On NEA’s Read Across America Day, join in on the fun because you’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child! Be a part of this flurry (or furry) of reading excitement. Get involved in supporting children’s literacy in our community: visit online at www.nea.org/readacross or www.readacrossamerica.org and get into the reading excitement.

Jennifer Pratt, M.Ed.

President, Houston Association of Educators

Mississippi Association of Educators

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Get the Medicaid money due for Mississippians

Medicaid expansion is a good deal for our state. If we don’t expand Medicaid, our federal tax dollars go to other states but not our own. Why wouldn’t we want more people in our state to get access to health care through Medicaid? Access to health care keeps families strong and secure, making for a healthier and more productive workforce. Medicaid expansion would strengthen our economy. A healthier and more productive workforce leads to economic stability and job growth.

Althea Perkins

Marietta