Hamilton County's reading initiative, Read 20's Read With Me program, was honored in Nashville at the Annual National Association of Counties (NACo). Read With Me is a program that is provided through a partnership with WSMC Classical 90.5 FM.
Stories read on the radio for Read With Me are broadcast every Thursday morning from 10:10 to 10:30 on WSMC Classical 90.5 FM.
The Read With Me program began in August 2006, embracing Mayor Claude Ramsey's Read 20 program which encourages parents, guardians and friends to read with a child at least 20 minutes every day.
Mayor Ramsey believes the key to higher education is through early childhood literacy and has championed Read 20.
"It is actually pretty simple, if you invest 20 minutes every day reading to children your investment will pay big dividends in a child's life further down the road," Mayor Ramsey said. "I am honored that NACo has seen fit to honor our efforts and I am grateful for all of our partners who support Read 20, especially WSMC Classical 90.5 FM."
WSMC Classical 90.5 FM was the first community partner for Read 20 beginning in July 2006. The radio station's general manager, David Brooks, believes that community services provide greater exposure for the station as well as for each partner. The Read With Me program has been the prime example of this belief and continues to grow.
Hamilton County Chief of Staff, Jeannine Alday received the NACo award on behalf of Hamilton County and Read 20's partners. Ms. Alday says, "Reading to our children is extremely important. It is through our children's future successes that Hamilton County will continue to thrive. I appreciate all the hard work of our Read 20 partners, especially WSMC Classical 90.5 FM, and our Read 20 staff, headed by Shawn Kurrelmeier-Lee. They deserve this acknowledgment from NACo."
The Read With Me program has logged 156 hours of WSMC Classical 90.5 FM air time or 3,060 hours of participants' time since its August 2006 debut.