U.S. Department of Education Celebrates Summer Reading with Events at National Arboretum and National Park

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U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. will highlight the importance of summer reading at two events on Friday, Aug. 5. Summer reading and learning is critical to closing achievement gaps and helping all students start the new school year ready to learn. Reading is simple, easy and can and should happen everywhere.

In the morning, King will join Debra Eschmeyer, Executive Director of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative; White House Chief Horticulturist James Adams; Celebrity Chef Carla Hall and Richard Olsen, Director of the U.S. National Arboretum, for a visit to the U.S. National Arboretum, where they will read to pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade students during a Let’s Read! Let’s Move! event in celebration of the Washington Youth Garden’s 45th anniversary. Let’s Read! Let’s Move! aims to increase awareness about the critical importance of summer learning, nutrition and physical activity. Students will read “Diary of a Worm,” by Doreen Cronin, and participate in Olympic-themed obstacle courses. The Department launched Let’s Read! Let’s Move! in 2010, following an Administration-wide effort by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency which administers AmeriCorps and other service programs. Follow along on social media at #LetsReadLetsMove.

In the afternoon, King will join U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation, to read to elementary school students at the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens at 1:30 p.m. ET. Read Where You Are is a digital day of action in support of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to raise awareness and draw attention to the importance of summer reading and learning wherever children spend their time. To join in the fun, snap a photo of you and your children reading and post it on social media with the hashtag #readwhereyouare. My Brother’s Keeper works to address persistent opportunity gaps affecting, in particular, boys and young men of color and to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential.