Read To Me sponsored by SAG Foundation BookPALS and the Rise Up Foundation

SAG-AFTRA Broadcasters Help Kick Off ‘Read To Me’ Initiative & Issue Reading Challenge During Read Across America Week

Throughout Read Across America, March 2-6, SAG-AFTRA broadcasters in seven cities: Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Providence, Phoenix and Orlando helped kick off a new national literacy initiative ‘Read To Me’ sponsored by the SAG Foundation BookPALS and Rise Up Foundation.

Thanks to a generous $100,000 gift by the Rise Up Foundation, the SAG Foundation BookPALS and the Rise Up Foundation have teamed up on the ‘Read to Me’ initiative to advance children’s literacy outcomes by encouraging everyone to take a role in reading to the children in their lives.

Research shows that reading aloud to children dramatically improves language, literacy and academic outcomes. It leads to success in school and in life.

‘Read to Me’ consists of a simple challenge to pick up a book and read it aloud to a child in your life. Anyone can take the challenge:  parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, neighbors and children themselves.

“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 Rise Up Foundation Founder and author Wendy Alane Adams. “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 SAG Foundation BookPALS and Rise Up Foundation thank the following broadcasters for helping to launch the national #ReadToMe campaign:

Annette Arreola, NBC4 Southern California reporter

“As a mom, I know the importance of reading to kids and hope everyone takes the ‘Read to Me’ challenge to read to a child in their life,” said NBC4 Southern California reporter Annette Arreola.

Spencer Christian, ABC7 KGO San Francisco meteorologist

“The national ‘Read to Me’ initiative is critical. I fell in love with books in my early childhood because my parents taught me to read.  We were poor and could not afford to travel. Books became my ‘windows on the world’,” said ABC WGO meteorologist Spencer Christian.

Mr. G, WPIX New York City meteorologist

“I’m proud to be a part of the ‘Read to Me’ initiative. Storytelling is a lost art. This day brings us back to how important reading to children is. The proof is how hard they listen when you do it right,” said WPIX meteorologist Mr. G.

Joe Kayata, WJAR NBC Providence sports anchor

“Literacy is a fundamental for a career in broadcast journalism. My career in sports reporting began with strong reading and writing skills. Reading to a child can take only 10 minutes a day, but have a lasting effect for a career and a lifetime,” said WJAR NBC sports anchor Joe Kavata.

Tony Mainolfi, WESH-2 Orlando meteorologist

“Reading is knowledge. Knowledge is power!” said WESH Orlando meteorologist Tony Mainolfi.

Marty Manning, KEZ 99.9 FM Phoenix radio host

“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 Phoenix.

Bree Sison, CBS Boston reporter

“I love to read.  It’s made a big difference in my life. I think it’s important to pass this very basic key to success on to our next generation. So join me in taking the ‘Read to Me’ Challenge!” said CBS Boston reporter Bree Sison.

Amy Sweezey, WESH-2 Orlando meteorologist

“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 is what ‘Read to Me’ is all about,” said WESH Orlando meteorologist Amy Sweezey.

Take the #ReadToMe Challenge! Post your photos on social media using the hashtag #ReadtoMe. Tag @RiseUpFdn and @SAGFoundation on Twitter and Instagram!

Extra! Extra! Read all about the national launch of #ReadToMe.