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Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder and Senate Colleagues Invite Educators and the Public to Discuss Childhood Literacy

Senator Holly Thompson Rehder and Senate Colleagues Invite Educators and the Public to Discuss Childhood Literacy

JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder, R-Scott City, invites 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. Senator Thompson Rehder, along with Senate colleagues, will lead a discussion about the importance of reading competency and seek input on potential legislative solutions at the event, which is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Aug. 4, at the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus, 518 S. Fountain St., in Cape Girardeau.

The public forum is 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.

“As someone with who struggled with dyslexia as a child, I understood at an early age the importance of reading. The ability to read at an appropriate level can help a child rise to their potential, or stifle their potential if they’re not able to read at grade level. Because of this, I was proud to join with my fellow female senators to share my story in the hope young readers would benefit from the stories in ‘You Can, Too!’” Sen. Thompson Rehder said. “I encourage everyone who has an interest in improving childhood literacy to attend this event and help us find ways to ensure all children can read at an appropriate grade level.”

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 the Aug. 4 event. Educators and those involved in teaching children to read are especially invited to participate, and all interested members of the public are also welcome.

For more information, and to reserve your spot, contact Daris Davis at Daris.Davis@senate.mo.gov or call 573-751-2459.