Radio Personality Marty Manning, Local Authors And Volunteer Actors Help Kick-Off National ‘Read to Me’ Literacy Initiative And Issue Reading Challenge On Read Across America Day

March 9, 2015

New literacy campaign sponsored by SAG Foundation BookPALS and Rise Up Foundation encourages everybody to play a role in reading aloud to children

—On Monday, March 2, KEZ 99.9 radio personality Marty Manning, local authors Terri Fields, Sharon Skinner, Eileen Birin, Catherine Reynolds, Tom Laveen, Janet Rallison, Angela Morrison, Drew Aguilar and volunteer actors Sharon Friendly, Jill Garcia, Terri Sparks, Doreen Hart, Nicole Duval, Bobbi Giltner donned Cat-in-the-Hat hats in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday to students at Mountain View Elementary School as part of a new national literacy initiative entitled ‘Read to Me’ sponsored by SAG Foundation BookPALS and Rise Up Foundation.

‘Read to Me’ encourages everyone to play a part in reading aloud to children whether you are a parent or grandparent, sibling or neighbor, educator or friend. Research shows that reading aloud to children improves language, literacy and academic outcomes. ‘Read to Me’ also challenges everyone to pick up a book and read to a child in their life.

“I’m honored to participate in the national ‘Read to Me’ kickoff with the SAG Foundation BookPALS and Rise Up Foundation. We can all make a difference in a child’s future by picking up a book and reading it aloud.  Such a simple act can have a lifelong impact,” said Marty Manning of 99.9 KEZ Radio.

In addition to Marty Manning, dozens of area performers who regularly volunteer as SAG Foundation BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools) read to classrooms in public schools throughout the district for the commencement of the ‘Read to Me’ campaign.

“We are at the very beginning of this journey. We hope the ‘Read to Me’ initiative ignites a movement across the country of reading aloud to children,” said Wendy Alane Adams, Founder of the Rise Up Foundation. “Together, we can ensure all children succeed not only in school, but in life, because it really starts with reading.”

“We’re grateful to the Rise Up Foundation, our partner in this new literacy initiative, the broadcasting community, our volunteer BookPALS, and our partner schools for participating in the ‘Read to Me’ kick-off this week and getting this campaign off the ground and into our communities,” said SAG Foundation President JoBeth Williams.

The national ‘Read to Me’ initiative kicks-off in seven cities this week:  Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Providence, Phoenix and Orlando.

Everyone can take the national ‘Read to Me’ challenge by picking up a book and reading to a child in your life today. Share what you read, post a photo or video using #ReadToMe on social media. Tag @SAGFoundation @RiseUpFdn for retweets.

About the Screen Actors Guild Foundation BookPALS 
The Screen Actors Guild Foundation program BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools) is a volunteer children’s literacy program made up of more than 2,200 SAG-AFTRA performers who read aloud to 60,000 children in Title I public schools, libraries, hospitals and social service agencies every month. BookPALS operates in six branches nationwide. For more information or to volunteer for BookPALS, visit

About the Screen Actors Guild Foundation
This year, the Screen Actors Guild Foundation celebrates 30 years of providing vital assistance and educational programming to the professionals of SAG-AFTRA while serving the public at large through its signature children’s literacy programs. The SAG Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, independent from the union, and relies solely on support from grants, sponsorships, and individual contributions to maintain its programs and create new ones. For more information, visit

About Rise Up Foundation
Founded by Wendy Alane Adams, the Rise Up Foundation strives to improve the lives of children and families living in poverty and difficult circumstances. Rise Up supports literacy projects as a path toward improving the future prospects of children in underserved communities by making book donations, providing classroom support, and grant-making. In addition to literacy efforts, Rise Up works with organizations committed to defining and solving the problems that chronic poverty brings to children and their communities. For more information, please visit, and