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Reading Solution

Happy birthday to the Reading Alliance

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March is birthday month at Children’s Reading Alliance (CRA). Counting from the very first meeting in 2011, we are either nine years old or four years if you count from incorporation as our own 501 C(3) in 2016.

The Reading Solution column has been around since 2013, when I wrote this in our very first column:

“…If ever there was a community that gets a good idea and runs with it, that community is ours. Now our own unique brand of enthusiasm is directed to our children and their success in school. The need is obvious. Statistics tell a grim story. Thousands of third graders face retention because they are non-readers. State planners use third-grade reading scores to predict future prison populations. But people aren’t statistics, and in our community, people are working to promote literacy ...”

In 2020, more than ever, our community continues the important work of changing the future, and that’s what we are celebrating today. March is full of activities that promote reading.

This weekend, the theme for Read Across America activities is Celebrating Diversity Through Books. Join NEA-LC and the City of Las Cruces for a family event at the Frank O'Brien Papen Community Center from noon to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, March 14. Stop by our table. We’ll be there with books!

The women of Las Cruces Junior League are promoting a simple yet fundamental truth about kids and books: “If you allow children choice and access, they will be more engaged.” Determined to help children choose books of their own, Jr. League’s Little Black Dress initiative is raising funds for a book celebration at a local elementary school. To donate, visit www.jllc.org/

Rio Grande Rotary Club is collecting gently loved children’s books. If you have books to contribute, call Di Maddox at 970-443-7848.

Unitarian Universalist Church members recognize that literacy is fundamental to social justice and have chosen CRA for their monthly Change for Change program.

At Children’s Reading Alliance headquarters, we are celebrating a few milestones, too. The U.S. Department of Patents and Trademarks has issued a trademark to First Teacher/Primer Maestro.

Dr. Elaine Hampton has finished a multi-year impact study to measure the long-lasting behavioral changes that occur in families after a parent has completed the First Teacher/Primer Maestro program. Study results are available on the CRA website. www.childrensreadingalliance.org

CRA welcomes Audrey Hartley as our executive director. Hartley brings extensive managerial and non-profit experience. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from New Mexico State University, and she is certified in Early Childhood Education from Dona Ana Community College. Hartley is the author of the children’s book, “Colors for Michaela.”

Jennifer Alvarado joins CRA as programs manager after 10 years of experience in early childhood education. Alvarado earned her bachelor’s degree at NMSU, and she is pursuing her master’s degree in speech and language pathology.

Wish us a Happy Birthday! The Alliance relies on your generosity to fund our many programs. For more information or to donate to the Children’s Reading Alliance, call Hartley or Alvarado at 575-522-3713.

Rorie Measure is the president of Children's Reading Alliance, a grassroots initiative to encourage family literacy throughout Doña Ana County. She is a reader, writer, teacher, reading specialist and literacy trainer. She can be reached at rmeasure@gmail.com.