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Family & Community

For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 4, 1999
Contact:Lynn Boston

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

Malden - On Friday, March 5, 1999, two hundred seventy two K-3 students at the Joseph Hurley Elementary School in Boston's South End will be receiving a special gift from the students, parents and faculty of the Joseph Osgood School in Cohasset; Mass Academy at Worcester Poly Tech in Worcester; and the student council members of 24 homerooms at the Dedham Middle School in Dedham -- more than 1900 books that they have collected for them.

Each K-3 student at the Joseph Hurley Elementary School will receive 5 books to take home and keep as part of the state's Spread the Word book distribution program that gives books to children who have few books at home, from other children who no longer need the books. The extra books (including 2 sets of encyclopedia) are a gift to the school's library.

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

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.

Massachusetts Commissioner of Education 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 it makes a difference."

The coordinators for the Friday morning delivery are: Nora Pou, Principal of the Joseph Hurley Elementary School, 617-635-8489; Ann O'Leary at the Joseph Osgood School in Cohasset, 781-383-6117; Adele LaPerle at Mass Academy in Worcester, 508-831-5859; and Libby Allison of the Dedham Middle School in Dedham, 781-326-6900.

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

Last Updated: March 4, 1999
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