For more information contact: Joan Nichols 651-29X-XXXX
ST. PAUL – State Representative Carlos Mariani, District 65B, was named a 2009 Friend of Literacy Award recipient by the Minnesota Reading Corps (MRC), an AmeriCorps program and statewide literacy initiative of ServeMinnesota dedicated to helping every Minnesota child become a successful reader by the end of 3rd grade.
“It is an honor to be a part of the great success of the MRC that is evident in the literacy advances being made by children throughout Minnesota," said Rep. Mariani, Chair of the E-12 Education Committee. “For the past five years, pre-schoolers participating in the Minnesota Reading Corps program started kindergarten significantly more prepared in literacy skills than other children. Nearly 80 percent of participating children in grades K-3 acquired literacy grade level skills.”
In the 2009 Legislative Session, Rep. Mariani was instrumental in securing state funding for the MRC program. The state’s investment of $2.8 million over the biennium leverages $2.4 million in private funding and those combined amounts leverage $17 million in federal funding to support the Minnesota Reading Corps.
“The increases in funding will allow the Minnesota Reading Corps to serve 25,000 students over the biennium – an increase of 10,000 students over the last biennium,” said Rep. Mariani. “The MRC program has become a permanent part of Minnesota’s solution to ensure all of our children are reading at grade level. It is smart investments like MRC that will help secure opportunities for Minnesota’s children.”
In 2008-09, the Minnesota Reading Corps partnered with 165 schools, involving 362 AmeriCorps members who served with children to provide individualized literacy instruction and recruited and trained community volunteer tutors to work one-on-one with children. For more information, visit www.MinnesotaReadingCorps.org.
Rep. Mariani will receive his 2009 Friend of Literacy Award from the Minnesota Reading Corps on September 22, 2009 at the meeting of the St. Paul School Board.