Editorial Note: This is a press release sent to the Missouri Times by the office of state Sen. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis County.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s women state senators invite 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. State senators, including area Sens. Karla May, Angela Mosley and Jill Schupp, will lead a discussion about the importance of reading competency and potential legislative solutions at two public events scheduled for Aug. 5.
At 1:30 p.m., Aug. 5, the senators will host a childhood literacy discussion at the Emerson Performance Arts Center on the campus of Harris-Stowe State University, 3026 Laclede Ave., in St. Louis. That event will be followed by another, at 4 p.m., at the Jennings High School Auditorium, 8850 Cozens Ave., in Jennings.
The public forums are 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.
“We are hopeful that the stories told in ‘You Can, Too!’ will inspire children to pursue their own dreams, possibly even toward public service, but our main goal is to encourage children to read,” Sen. Schupp said. “The ability to read is foundational to all learning, so it’s critical all Missouri children are able to read at an appropriate level. These two events, and others like them throughout the state, will allow us to connect with experts and the people who love and care for Missouri’s children so we can find solutions to improve childhood literacy.”
During the 2022 legislative session, the Missouri General Assembly passed a comprehensive education measure, 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 both Aug. 5 events. Educators and those involved in teaching children to read are encouraged to participate, and all interested members of the public are also welcome.
For more information, and to reserve your spot, contact Sen. Schupp at email@example.com or call 314-517-6505.