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“Wild” Event Promotes Joy and Benefits of Reading

More than 2,100 children and parents from a variety of youth-serving organizations went “Wild about Reading” March 23 at the Museum of Science and History. Led by the museum, United Way and Educational First Steps, the four-hour event promoted the fun of reading and its importance for school success. (Photo slideshow below.)

The children received more than 6,000 free books and signed up for library cards. They listened to stories read by celebrity readers including Mayor Betsy Price, Star-Telegram Columnist Bob Ray Sanders, WFAA News Anchor Cynthia Izaguirre (shown above), Arlington ISD Supt. Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, Fort Worth ISD Assistant Supt. Mauro Serrano, and United Way Campaign Co-Chairs James and Charlie Powell. The children also enjoyed sack lunches and museum activities such as the Children’s Museum, DinoLabs and the Wizard of Oz exhibit.

“Wild about Reading” is part of United Way of Tarrant County’s 10-year “Learn Well” education initiative. Parents who attended the third annual “Wild” event received tips on reading to their children at home. More than 60 percent of American third graders don’t read proficiently, and third graders who don’t read at grade-level are four times more likely to drop out of high school.