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EPISD, COEP partner to launch El Paso Reads initiative

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El Paso Reads launch  El Paso Reads launch  El Paso Reads launch  El Paso Reads launch

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT -- June 13, 2019) — EPISD and the City of El Paso are forging a partnership with a unique goal in mind: to get more kids to read. 

Superintendent Juan E. Cabrera and Mayor Dee Margo this week announced the creation of El Paso Reads, a community-based initiative that creates opportunities for children to develop and enhance their love of literacy with the help of the local business and nonprofit sectors.

El Paso Reads will help create reading-friendly environments outside the traditional school setting in order to give students more opportunities to access digital books, periodicals and other reading materials in places like restaurants, rec centers and even bus stops. 

“When we talk about improving the lives of children, we need to talk about literacy. Reading is the base of learning, and we must do everything we can to help our kids tap into the instruction that will make them successful in life,” Cabrera said. “El Paso Reads will bring EPISD, the City of El Paso and other important partners into the mix in making literacy a priority for our community.” 

Under this new partnership — which was spearheaded by Mayor Margo and the District — opportunities for students to tap into digital reading material will be created beyond the school and home environments.

That means that places like the Boys & Girls Clubs of El Paso, City of El Paso public facilities, programs of community partners like the YWCA and YMCA, and even private retailers will create spaces where children can tap into digital reading content.

EPISD is partnering with Renaissance, a national educational analytics and software company, to give students free access to the myON library of more than 6,000 digital books using computers, tablets and smartphones.  The myON function should be accessible to students in the fall. 

Cabrera and Margo said they will collaborate to expand the program and improve the literacy rates in El Paso, a factor he believes will strengthen the economic outlook of the city and its residents. 

“Family and community engagement are key factors contributing to children’s education. I’m committed to building a stronger community of readers with Superintendent Cabrera,” Margo said. “Together, through community collaboration, we can all make a difference in the lives of children and families in the El Paso region.”

Randi Economou, a reading advocate with Renaissance, said El Paso Reads is a unique partnership that shows a commitment to children by both EPISD and the City of El Paso. 

“Superintendent Cabrera and Mayor Margo have come together to make an impact and create a culture of literacy for the children of El Paso,” she said. “We all know that literacy provides hope for a better future for children and their families.”

Story by Gustavo Reveles
Photos by Leonel Monroy