State Education Department Launches Online Book Nook Initiative to Promote Literacy

| May 17, 2019

HARRISBURG, Pa.The state Department of Education (PDE) this week launched an initiative aimed at promoting literacy even when school isn’t in session.

Beginning today, each Thursday at 6 p.m. PDE will unveil a new video featuring a prominent Pennsylvanian reading a children’s book to an at-home audience.

“Literacy is a pillar of learning,” Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said. “Sparking an interest in reading at a young age can have lifelong benefits for a student.”

Rivera added that the initiative also aims to help ease the “Summer Slide,” when some students are susceptible to a decline in reading ability and other academic skills over the summer months. It also promotes equity by providing access to literacy activities for students who don’t have books of their own at home.

The initiative kicks off with Rivera reading the book, Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes, one of his personal favorite books to read to young audiences. In upcoming weeks, the initiative will feature several officials from the Wolf Administration reading books related to the work they lead, including Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.

The videos will be accessible on PDE’s Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube pages.

Investing in schools and improving education for all students is a hallmark of the Wolf Administration’s Schools That Teach initiative and is central to Governor Wolf’s new Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP), which was introduced in February.

SWEAP focuses on recruiting and retaining qualified teachers by raising the minimum salary from the current $18,500 to $45,000; and lowering the required age to start school from 8 years to 6 years; and raising the dropout age from 17 to 18.

Through the Schools That Teach Initiative, Wolf Administration officials from multiple agencies have visited dozens of schools across the state since 2015. A Google Map of all tour stops is available here.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs please visit the Department of Education’s website at or follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest

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Category: Local News, State News