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For Immediate Release
Thursday, December 17, 1998
Contact:John Costello

Boston Elementary Students Receive Books as part of State's "Spread The Word" Book Distribution Program

Malden - On Thursday, December 17, students in grades K-3 at the Nathan Hale School in Boston will be receiving a special delivery of almost 1500 books collected by Talbots Northeastern stores' Fight for Literacy Campaign.

One hundred and sixty three Nathan Hale students in grades K-3 will receive 5 books each to take home and keep, while the remainder of the books will be given to the school's library. This was achieved through the efforts of Talbots Northeastern stores associates, including Talbots in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and New York, as well as Massachusetts. The Talbots associates began collecting books as part of their Fight for Literacy Campaign and to support Massachusetts' Spread the Word book distribution program that gives books to children who have few books at home, from other children (or others who are interested) who no longer need the books. Talbots also provided pencils for the students.

Massachusetts Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll said, "Students need to read well, if they are to be successful in school. Children who own books and read them at home are more likely to become proficient readers. The Spread the Word program helps, and I am pleased that Talbots is helping to make a difference."

Schools with students designated to receive books are identified based on results of the 1998 Iowa Grade 3 Reading Test. Schools that reported the highest percentage of students reading at low levels were selected to receive books this year. In addition to Boston, students at schools in Brockton, Cambridge, Chelsea, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, New Bedford Springfield, and Worcester are receiving books this year.

The Spread the Word program was initiated in 1995 by then Lt. Governor Paul Cellucci and his wife, Jan. This year's program, coordinated by the Massachusetts Department of Education, will deliver 60,000 books to 12,000 students in eleven school districts.

The coordinators for this event are: Nathan Hale School Principal William Colom, 617-635-8205; and Talbots Store Managers Robyn Azzarone, 401-946-0965, and Jacqueline Ritchie, 781-749-4340.

For more information on Spread the Word, visit the Massachusetts Department of Education website at

Last Updated: December 17, 1998
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