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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, January 26, 1999
Contact:Lynn Boston

Lawrence Elementary Students Receive Books as Part of State's "Spread the Word" Book Distribution Program

Malden - On Tuesday, January 26, third grade students at the Haverhill Street School in Lawrence will be receiving a special delivery - 600 books collected by the students, parents and faculty at the Hawthorne Brooke Middle School in Townsend. Seventy third graders will each receive 5 books to take home and keep as part of the state's Spread the Word book distribution program that gives books to K-3 children who have few books at home, from other children who no longer need the books. Since the Haverhill Street School doesn't have grades K-2, those books collected will be given to the K-2 students at their sister school, The General Donovan School in Lawrence.

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.

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 Lawrence, students at schools in Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Chelsea, Fall River, Holyoke, Lowell, New Bedford, Springfield and Worcester are receiving books this year.

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 it makes a difference."

The coordinators for the Friday morning delivery are: Haverhill Street School Principal Rosemary Murphy, 978-975-5953 and Nancy Byrne, Media Specialist at the Hawthorne Brooke Middle School, 978-597-6915.

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

Last Updated: January 26, 1999
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