WESH meteorologists Tony Mainolfi and Amy Sweezey help kickoff Read to Me campaign

March 9, 2015

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WESH meteorologists Tony Mainolfi and Amy Sweezey donned Cat-in-the-Hat hats in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday and read Oh Say Can You Say, What’s the Weather Today? to kindergarten and 1st graders at Princeton 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.

“We’re honored to join with broadcasters across the country to help kick-off the national ‘Read to Me’ campaign on Read Across America Day. I also loved that we could teach kids about the weather by reading Dr. Seuss,” said WESH meteorologist Amy Sweezey. “The more children are read to, the more excited they become to read for themselves, and I think it’s important we all do our part which what ‘Read to Me’ is all about.”

Mainolfi emphatically added, “Reading is knowledge. Knowledge is power!”

In addition to Mainolfi and Sweezey, 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 our children,” said Wendy Alane Adams, Founder of the Rise Up Foundation. “Together, we can ensure all of our children succeed not only in school, but in life, and it really starts with reading.”

“Our BookPALS volunteers have been reading to children in schools for decades with terrific results, but what’s really exciting about our new partnership with the Rise Up Foundation and the ‘Read to Me’ campaign is that we’re challenging everyone to get involved in reading to the children in their lives,” said SAG Foundation President Jo Beth Williams. “We’re grateful to the broadcasting community, our BookPALS, and our partner schools for participating in ‘Read to Me’ today and getting this year-long campaign off the ground and into our communities.”

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

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