OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
BOB TAFT

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 2, 2000

OHIOíS FIRST LADY PARTICIPATES IN READING ROOM DEDICATION AND CELEBRATES READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY

(DAYTON)--- Hope Taft, First Lady of Ohio joined Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) Director Reginald A. Wilkinson to dedicate the childrenís reading room at the Montgomery Education and PreRelease Center in Dayton. The reading room located, in the prisonís visiting area, encourages inmates to interact with their children through reading and other educational activities.

"It is so important for children to maintain a strong connection with their parents. Reading is fundamental to everything we do and is a great way to bring families together" Mrs. Taft said. "Through this reading room, and others like it, DRC is helping to strengthen family bonds while reiterating the importance of literacy."

This reading room is the last of 30 reading rooms recently opened in state correctional facilities. Inmates can read to their children during specified times and some institutions have volunteers from the community come in and read to the children.

"In creating these reading rooms in every prison we are encouraging and fostering good relationships between the inmates and their children," Wilkinson said. "These children need to have a bond with their parents and this is a step in the right direction."

Mrs. Taftís visit to the facility also spotlighted Read Across America Day, which is being celebrated for the third year in a row on Dr. Seussís birthday. Read Across America Day is intended to excite children about reading and encourages adults to seek opportunities to read to children.

Following the dedication, Mrs. Taft read a Dr. Seuss book to the children who attended the ceremony. The First Lady gave each child a book bag filled with books donated by staff members at DRC.

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For further information please contact the DRC Public Information Office at (614) 752-1150 or Marcie Seidel, Office of the First Lady, at (614) 995-2000