In addition to providing books, bicycles and helmets, our Club would like to let participants and their families know about other programs and community organizations that encourage reading. The Kittery Land Trust is working with the Rice Public Library on a reading initiative which will include book signing and a program for students related to our community environment.  TD Bank has a summer reading program that awards readers $10 in a savings account for 10 books read.  We believe that helping publicize these other efforts can only lead to greater success.
     We believe providing a specially selected book to each student entering kindergarten will enable them to make a connection between reading and learning. What better way to kick off their first school experience than with their very own book.  The second phase of the program will reinforce this messaging.  Phase three will serve to bring this message full circle and our hope is that it will help encourage life long reading.
     Building on the local success of Rotary District 7780's Rotary Reads Project, our club will initiate a multi-phase program to improve literacy in Kittery.  First phase will encourage family reading starting with students entering kindergarten.  The program will provid a book to parents with a brochure from the Superintendent's office that encourages reading as a family activity and describes how important this is for development of lifelong reading skills.  We will consult with school personnel and teachers to determine book selections.  Working with vendors in our area we will purchase the books.  Books will be distributed to families during kindergarten registration and the pre-enrollment screening process.  A personalized message from a Club member will be placed in the front cover of each book. 
     Phase two will establish a program to encourage reading with students from Kittery's Mitchell School (grades K-3).  During the program period students will work with their teachers to track the number of books they read.  Students may read books of their choice from the classroom, library, or home.  For every book they read the student's name will be entered in a drawing.  At the end of the program one name will be drawn for each grade and each winner will receive a new bicycle and helmet.  All participants will receive certificates from the Club recognizing their accomplishments.
     The third phase will gift a book to each senior graduating from Kittery's R.W. Traip Academy. Books will be selected by school faculty familiar with each student's interests.

     Reading aloud is the single most important thing a parent or care-giver can do to improve a child’s readiness for reading.  In an article published by the National education Association, it was noted that children who are read to develop stronger pre-reading skills, develop stronger reading skills, are better readers and in turn have higher math scores as well.

     "Rotary Reads" tells us that reading aloud to children for just 15 minutes every day from birth better prepares them for their first school experience.  Being exposed to reading at an early age aids in the development of literacy skills needed to succeed in school and ultimately in one’s career.
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