Official “Read Across Worcester Week” Begins March 3rd

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
GoLocalWorcester News Team

Worcester will celebrate "Read Across Worcester Week" beginning March 3rd. Starting with an official proclamation declared by Mayor Joseph Petty, the week will feature fun events and coordinated activities across the community that promote children's literacy.

The campaign has largely come to life because of the impetus of John Monfredo, member of the Worcester School Committee, GoLocalWorcester MINDSETTER™ and Chair of "Worcester: The City that Reads." Monfredo, who has written extensively on the importance of literacy in children's lives for GoLocalWorcester, spoke on why he believed reading to be so paramount, both in Worcester and across the nation.

"One of the things I attempted to do as a former principal and school committee member was bring attention to the importance of literacy, especially in terms of summer reading," said Monfredo. He went on to discuss how research indicates that the lack of access to books in low-income homes can lead to months of lost learning dubbed the "summer slide."

Read more from Monfredo on the importance of promoting lifelong literacy in his latest MINDSETTER™ column, "Make Worcester ‘The City That Reads’ on March 3rd."

Monfredo recalled how heartbreaking it was during his time as a principal to speak to students with few books in their homes, or none at all. To help place books directly into the hands of would-be readers, Worcester: The City That Reads has given out more than 170,000 books to children in the community since Monfredo founded the organization with his wife, Anne-Marie, eight years ago. "Read Across Worcester Week" will coincide with the beginning of the organization's annual book drive. Monfredo encourages anyone with gently used books that they no longer use to consider donating to them through his organization to children in need.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

"Read Across Worcester" week coincides with the birthday celebration for immortal Springfield, Massachusetts author Theodore Geisel -- better known by his pen name, Dr. Seuss. Seuss would have turned 110 on March 2nd, the day before the "Read Across Worcester" week officially begins. To honor the beloved author, one of the Read Across Worcester Week's events will be a Seuss Birthday Bash at the Main Branch of the Worcester Public Library on March 3rd from 3:30 to 5:00. The event will be complete with music, stories, and of course, birthday cake. The Frances Perkins Branch Library and the Tatnuck Magnet Branch Library will be holding additional Dr. Seuss reading celebrations throughout the week.

Doing Their Part to Promote Literacy

All across town, different groups will be doing their part to emphasize the importance of reading and writing in all facets of life. Worcester Public School Nurses will wear special pins promoting reading, and teach kids about the link between literacy and good hygiene. Worcester's professional hockey team, the Worcester Sharks, will be visiting schools to promote literacy (the team's mascot will be making appearances too). Worcester's newest baseball team, the Worcester Bravehearts, will send players to schools in Worcester to read to students. Even General Manager Dave Peterson will get involved, taking a break from his duties to regale the students at Chandler Magnet School with "Casey at the Bat."

All of these events attempt to solve the problem of illiteracy, which is particularly virulent in lower-income communities. "Instead of talking about it," said Monfredo. I'm trying to do something about it." 

  • 41. Webster

    Graduation rate: 69.7%

    Dropout rate: 14.8%

    Percent still in school: 7.7%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 142

     
  • 40. Southbridge

    Graduation rate: 70.6%

    Dropout rate: 16.8%

    Percent still in school: 4.2%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 119

     
  • 39. Fitchburg (Tie)

    Graduation rate: 71.6%

    Dropout rate: 14%

    Percent still in school: 9.6%

    Percent non-grad completers: 1.8%

    Number of students in cohort: 450

     
  • 38. Gardner (Tie)

    Graduation rate: 71.6%

    Dropout rate: 10.6%

    Percent still in school: 14.9%

    Percent non-grad completers: 1%

    Number of students in cohort: 208

     
  • 37. Ralph C. Mahar

    Graduation rate: 72.4%

    Dropout rate: 13.2%

    Percent still in school: 8.6%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 174

     
  • 36. Worcester

    Graduation rate: 73.4%

    Dropout rate: 11%

    Percent still in school: 11.3%

    Percent non-grad completers: 1.3%

    Number of students in cohort: 1,885

     
  • 35. Athol-Royalston

    Graduation rate: 77%

    Dropout rate: 12%

    Percent still in school: 5%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 100

     
  • 34. Oxford

    Graduation rate: 78.5%

    Dropout rate: 10.4%

    Percent still in school: 7.6%

    Percent non-grad completers: 1.4%

    Number of students in cohort: 144

     
  • 33. Quaboag

    Graduation rate: 78.8%

    Dropout rate: 9.6%

    Percent still in school: 7.7%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 104

     
  • 32. Northbridge

    Graduation rate: 83.8%

    Dropout rate: 5.6%

    Percent still in school: 5%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0.6%

    Number of students in cohort: 179

     
  • 31. Berlin-Boylston

    Graduation rate: 84.1%

    Dropout rate: 7.9%

    Percent still in school: 6.3%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 63

     
  • 30. Winchendon

    Graduation rate: 84.5%

    Dropout rate: 7.2%

    Percent still in school: 6.2%

    Percent non-grad completers: 1%

    Number of students in cohort: 97

     
  • 29. North Brookfield

    Graduation rate: 84.6%

    Dropout rate: 5.1%

    Percent still in school: 2.6%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 39

     
  • 28. Leicester

    Graduation rate: 85%

    Dropout rate: 5.3%

    Percent still in school: 5.3%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 133

     
  • 27. Douglas

    Graduation rate: 85.1%

    Dropout rate: 8.9%

    Percent still in school: 3%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 101

     
  • 26. Milford

    Graduation rate: 86.5%

    Dropout rate: 6.4%

    Percent still in school: 5%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0.4%

    Number of students in cohort: 281

     
  • 25. Spencer-East Brookfield

    Graduation rate: 87%

    Dropout rate: 1.9%

    Percent still in school: 5.6%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 108

     
  • 24. Uxbridge

    Graduation rate: 87.8%

    Dropout rate: 4.9%

    Percent still in school: 4.1%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 123

     
  • 23. Clinton

    Graduation rate: 88.5%

    Dropout rate: 2.2%

    Percent still in school: 2.9%

    Percent non-grad completers: 1.4%

    Number of students in cohort: 139

     
  • 22. Hudson

    Graduation rate: 88.6%

    Dropout rate: 5.9%

    Percent still in school: 4.1%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 220

     
  • 21. Quabbin

    Graduation rate: 88.7%

    Dropout rate: 3.3%

    Percent still in school: 5.7%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 212

     
  • 20. West Boylston

    Graduation rate: 89.1%

    Dropout rate: 3.1%

    Percent still in school: 4.7%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 64

     
  • 19. Bellingham

    Graduation rate: 89.6%

    Dropout rate: 4.0%

    Percent still in school: 2.9%

    Percent non-grad completers: 1.7%

    Number of students in cohort: 173

     
  • 18. Millbury

    Graduation rate: 89.7%

    Dropout rate: 4.3%

    Percent still in school: 3.4%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 116

     
  • 17. Leominster

    Graduation rate: 89.9%

    Dropout rate: 3.8%

    Percent still in school: 3.8%

    Percent non-grad completers: 1.7%

    Number of students in cohort: 477

     
  • 16. Blackstone-Millville

    Graduation rate: 90.6%

    Dropout rate: 5.4%

    Percent still in school: 1.3%

    Percent non-grad completers: 1.3%

    Number of students in cohort: 149

     
  • 15. Wachusett

    Graduation rate: 91.6%

    Dropout rate: 2.5%

    Percent still in school: 3.6%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 526

     
  • 14. Narragansett

    Graduation rate: 91.9%

    Dropout rate: 4.1%

    Percent still in school: 2.4%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0.8%

    Number of students in cohort: 123

     
  • 13. Auburn

    Graduation rate: 92.3%

    Dropout rate: 4.1%

    Percent still in school: 2.6%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 196

     
  • 12. Grafton

    Graduation rate: 92.4%

    Dropout rate: 1.8%

    Percent still in school: 3.5%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 170

     
  • 11. Shrewsbury

    Graduation rate: 92.8%

    Dropout rate: 2.3%

    Percent still in school: 2.1%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 432

     
  • 10. Tantasqua

    Graduation rate: 93.1%

    Dropout rate: 1.7%

    Percent still in school: 3.4%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0.3%

    Number of students in cohort: 291

     
  • 9. Dudley-Charlton

    Graduation rate: 93.6%

    Dropout rate: 3%

    Percent still in school: 2.6%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 265

     
  • 8. Ashburnham-Westminster

    Graduation rate: 93.9%

    Dropout rate: 2.4%

    Percent still in school: 3%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 165

     
  • 7. Lunenburg

    Graduation rate: 94.5%

    Dropout rate: 0.8%

    Percent still in school: 2.3%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 128

     
  • 6. Nashoba

    Graduation rate: 94.7%

    Dropout rate: 1.2%

    Percent still in school: 2.4%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 247

     
  • 5. Mendon-Upton

    Graduation rate: 95.2%

    Dropout rate: 0.5%

    Percent still in school: 3.2%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 189

     
  • 4. Hopedale

    Graduation rate: 95.5%

    Dropout rate: 1.1%

    Percent still in school: 2.2%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0%

    Number of students in cohort: 89

     
  • 3. Westborough

    Graduation rate: 96.2%

    Dropout rate: 0.8%

    Percent still in school: 1.9%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0.8%

    Number of students in cohort: 265

     
  • 2. Northborough-Southborough

    Graduation rate: 97.3%

    Dropout rate: 0.3%

    Percent still in school: 2.2%

    Percent non-grad completers: 0.3%

    Number of students in cohort: 364