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Senator Karla May and Senate Colleagues Invite Educators and the Public to Discuss Childhood Literacy

JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Karla May, D-St. Louis, invites educators, parents and concerned members of the community to participate in a public forum focused on childhood literacy and efforts to ensure all Missouri children entering the fourth grade can read at grade level. Senator May, along with her Senate colleagues, will lead a discussion about the importance of reading competency and seek input on potential legislative solutions at the event, which is scheduled for Aug. 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Emerson Performance Arts Center, on the campus of Harris-Stowe State University.

The public forum is part of a campaign to improve childhood literacy spearheaded by all 11 women currently serving in the Missouri Senate. Early in 2021, the group joined together to write a book aimed at young readers, “You Can, Too! Journey to the Missouri Senate: 36 Women Senators Share Their Stories,” which recalls the inspiring contributions of every female senator in Missouri history and retraces each lawmaker’s path to the state’s upper legislative chamber.

“The ability to read and to read well is an important and vital part of a quality education,” Sen. May said. “With this book tour, I hope we not only encourage children to discover the joy of reading, but also connect with experts and others so we can find solutions to improve childhood literacy.”

During the 2022 legislative session, the Missouri General Assembly passed Senate Bill 681, which requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop guidelines for reading intervention programs in elementary schools. This legislation, as well as additional reforms intended to improve childhood literacy will be discussed at the Aug. 5 event. Educators and those involved in teaching children to read are especially invited to participate, and all interested members of the public are also welcome.

For more information, and to reserve your spot, contact Sen. May at karla.may@senate.mo.gov or call 573-751-3599.

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