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Elmsford's Young Readers Are Among Nation's Elite

The Elmsford Union Free School District recently received an honorable mention in the American School Board Journal 's (ASBJ) annual Magna Awards.

The ASBJ, created in 1891, recognized the school district for its program "Born to Read," which promotes fundamental literacy to children under the age of four while encouraging listening and comprehension. The Magna Awards, now in its 17th year, honors districts nationwide for their programs that help students develop through community involvement.

The "Born to Read" program was created on the premise that, in 2008, only 36 percent of incoming kindergarten students had good reading skills for their level. Once the program was installed, the numbers boomed to 47 and 57 percent in the following two years.

Elmsford's "Born to Read" program holds sessions throughout the school year, like "Story Time" and "Pajama Party." During the events, the infants and toddlers interact with students, parents and volunteers, including the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and members of Alexander Hamilton High School's National Honor Society.

"Since 1995 through the Magna Awards, we've featured many excellent examples of school district leadership, and this year is no exception," said Anne Bryant, ASBJ's publisher and executive director of the National School Boards Association. "The winning entries are full of practical advice on how districts solved pressing problems."

For more information, please contact Dr. Barbara Peters at 914-592-6632 or

What else can the community do to improve a child's reading skills?

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