Monday, December 6, 2004


(Jackson, Miss.) -- First Lady Marsha Barbour has signed on to be an Ambassador of Reading for Mississippi, as part of the sixth annual “Scholastic Read For 2005” global classroom reading initiative.

Today at Madison Central High School, First Lady Marsha Barbour read to elementary students who were visiting their high school mentors. There, she encouraged all the students, teachers and parents to take time during the day to read a book for at least 2,005 seconds (approximately 33 1/3 minutes) as a part of this program. “Literacy has always been an issue that knows no politics, which is why I am so proud to be an Ambassador of Reading for the ‘Scholastic Read For 2005’ reading campaign,” said Mrs. Barbour. “Reading helps build better lives and all children across Mississippi deserve to experience the joy of reading a book.”

Mrs. Barbour showed her commitment to reading by donating books from Scholastic Book Clubs to the feeder schools of East Flora, Madison Avenue Lower Elementary, Madison Avenue Upper Elementary, and Madison Station. Read For 2005 was created by Scholastic, the global children’s publishing and media company, to generate excitement about reading in schools and homes around the world.

Joining First Lady Marsha Barbour in the “Scholastic Read For 2005” reading celebration are gubernatorial spouses in states across the country. Last year, 40 spouses participated in “Scholastic Read For 2004” and led their states in reading events in schools, libraries, and at state capitols. “Scholastic Read For 2004” proved to be a huge success, with more than 24,000 classrooms and 1 million students in over 37 countries worldwide participating.

“‘Scholastic Read For 2005’ encourages classrooms and communities to join together to share the magic, excitement and fun that reading offers,” said Dick Robinson, Chairman, President, and CEO Scholastic. “We are grateful for the participation of the gubernatorial spouses who will help spread the message of the importance of reading to children in their states. With First Lady Marsha Barbour’s support, ‘Read For 2005’ will be a wonderful celebration of reading in Mississippi and around the world.”

Since its inception in 1999, the “Scholastic Read For…” initiative has grown to unite millions of children, parents, and teachers in each of the 50 U.S. states and throughout 37 countries worldwide, connecting children across cultures and continents from Saudi Arabia to Sri Lanka. Classrooms around the globe will be connected online through the Scholastic Read For 2005 world map,, which highlights all participating classrooms.

For more information about “Scholastic Read For 2005,” and to view the world map of participating counties, book lists for children, reading tips for parents and a list of all the Ambassadors of Reading, visit


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