Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Participate in Read to the Top! Event

Lisa Jackson, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, reads "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss to children at Mt. Vernon Community School in Alexandria, Va.

Lisa Jackson, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, reads "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss to children at Mt. Vernon Community School in Alexandria, Va.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson joined Secretary Arne Duncan for a bilingual reading event that marked the culmination of ED’s summer literacy initiative, “Read to the Top!”

At the event, held at Mount Vernon Community School in Alexandria, Virginia, Secretary Solis read the Spanish version of “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. Administrator Jackson read “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss. Secretary Duncan read “Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth.

Today’s event was the culmination of two months of weekly summer reading events hosted by ED. The Department held 12 reading events with 15 Cabinet members and senior administration officials. More than 1,200 children from over 30 private, traditional public, and charter schools attended the reading events and received more than 2,000 books donated by Scholastic Inc.

Throughout the summer, ED has partnered with community organizations nationwide to combat summer learning loss in response to President Obama’s national volunteer campaign, “United We Serve,” which challenges all Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful service to meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn.

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HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Commerce Secretary Locke Participate in Read to the Top! Event

U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke joined Secretary Arne Duncan for an afternoon of reading and learning this week as part of the Department of Education’s summer literacy series, “Read to the Top!”


Click here for an accessible version of the video.

Donovan read “The Curious Garden” by Peter Brown and Locke read “Those Shoes” by Maribeth Boeltz to a group of children from the Georgetown Hill HHS/ED Children’s Center, the Dorothy I. Height Community Academy Public Charter School, and Amidon-Bowen Elementary School.

As part of the event, the National Center for Summer Learning presented Secretary Duncan with a 2009 Champion of Summer Learning award for supporting summer learning and encouraging school districts and states to use American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars to educate children over the summer.

Tuesday’s session marked the final event held at the Department of Education. Since late June, weekly “Read to the Top!” events have enabled children from across the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to enjoy books in a unique outdoor setting on the department’s plaza.

Later this week, “Read to the Top!” will go on the road, heading to Mount Vernon Community School in Alexandria, Va., which will culminate the summer series. There, Secretary Duncan will read to elementary-school-aged children, along with U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson.

ED Staff

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U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice Joins ED Deputy Secretary Tony Miller for Read to the Top!

United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice joined ED Deputy Secretary Tony Miller for the Department of Education’s summer reading initiative, “Read to the Top!”


Click here for an accessible version of the video.

Rice read “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” Miller read “Little Quack.” Students from E.L. Haynes Public Charter School and other D.C. charter schools attended.

The Department has partnered with community organizations nationwide to combat summer reading loss in response to President Obama’s national volunteer campaign, “United We Serve,” which challenges all Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful service to meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn.

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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar And White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett at Read To The Top! Event

The Secretary read “Six-Dinner Sid;” Salazar read “Our Earth;” and Jarrett read “America is…” Approximately 120 students in grades K-5 from Annandale Terrace, Parklawn and Glen Forest Elementary schools—all representing Fairfax County, Va., public schools—were in attendance.


Click here for an accessible version of the video.

The Department has partnered with community organizations nationwide to combat summer reading loss in response to President Obama’s national volunteer campaign, “United We Serve.” It challenges all Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful service to meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn.

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White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes Join Read to the Top Event

Yesterday, Secretary Arne Duncan was joined by Rahm Emanuel, White House chief of staff, and Melody Barnes, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, for the Department of Education’s summer reading initiative, “Read to the Top!” During the event, the Secretary read “Library Lion;” Emanuel read “Duck for President;” and Barnes read “10 Things I Can Do to Help My World.” Students from Raymond and C.W. Harris Elementary schools in the District, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center and Georgetown Hill HHS/ED Children’s Center were in attendance.


Click here for an accessible version of the video.

The Department has partnered with community organizations nationwide to combat summer reading loss in response to President Obama’s national volunteer campaign, “United We Serve,” which challenges all Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful service to meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn.

US News & World Report has posted video of the event.

ED Staff

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White House Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu at Read to the Top Event

Last week, White House Cabinet Secretary Chris Lu joined Secretary Arne Duncan and read to pre-K through grade-6 students from schools and summer programs across Prince Georges County, Md., and more than 70 K–5 students from Hoffman-Boston Elementary and Carlin Springs Elementary schools, both in Arlington, Va. During the event, the Secretary read “I Am America” and Lu read “Stone Soup.”


Click here for an accessible version of the video.

The Department has partnered with community organizations nationwide to combat summer reading loss in response to President Obama’s national volunteer campaign, “United We Serve,” which challenges all Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful service to meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn. The Department’s weekly reading campaign will continue through the summer and feature various children’s books read by the Secretary, other Cabinet members and top Administration officials.

ED Staff

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Veterans Affairs Secretary Shinseki and Wife Read to Children

Yesterday Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and his wife, Patricia Shinseki, joined Secretary Arne Duncan to read to more than 100 children in grades pre-K through 4 from Bolling Air Force Base, the Fort Myer Youth Services program, and the Anacostia children’s development center. Secretary Shinseki read “Night Catch”; Mrs. Shinseki read “I Feel a Foot!” This event was part of “Read to the Top!”—the Department’s summer reading initiative—which is partnering with community organizations nationwide to combat summer reading loss as part of President Obama’s “United We Serve” national volunteer campaign.


Click here for an accessible version of the video.

The weekly reading campaign will continue through the summer and feature various children’s books read by the Secretary, other Cabinet members and top Administration officials. During Education Week, July 27 through August 2, “United We Serve” will focus on the countless Americans who strengthen communities by rolling up their sleeves to read with a child, volunteer at a library, or organize a book drive, among other education-related service activities.

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Marian Robinson, the First Lady’s Mother, and Secretary Arne Duncan Read to Students

Marian Robinson, the mother of First Lady Michelle Obama, today joined Secretary Arne Duncan to read to kids at the Department’s headquarters as part of the summer reading initiative “Read to the Top!” to fight summer reading loss.


Click here for an accessible version of the video.

The crowd of more than 200 included students from Montgomery County Public Schools; grandparents who work at the Department of Education and their grandchildren; members of GrandFamilies of America, a group that supports grandparents raising foster children; and members of the United Planning Organization (UPO) Foster Grandparent Program, a DC-based service agency of senior citizens who volunteer in places such as schools, childcare centers and hospitals. After Mrs. Robinson read The Napping House and Secretary Duncan read The Rainbow Fish, Mrs. Robinson took questions from the kids, which included: “How does it feel to live in the White House?” “Do you play games with Sasha and Malia?” “How did the President meet Mrs. Obama?” “How does it feel to have a daughter married to the President?” and “Do you have a deep connection to the President?”

News stories on the event include ones from the Washington Post and the New York Times.

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary Arne Duncan Read to Students

Last week U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack joined Secretary Arne Duncan to read to students from Campbell Elementary Summer School in Arlington, Va., and preschoolers who attend the Georgetown Hill Health and Human Services/Department of Education children’s center.


Click here for an accessible version of the video.

This event was part of “Read to the Top!”—the Department’s summer reading initiative—which is partnering with community organizations nationwide to combat summer reading loss as part of President Obama’s “United We Serve” national volunteer campaign.
ED Staff

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary Arne Duncan Read to Students

Today U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius joined Secretary Arne Duncan to read to young children on the plaza of the Department’s Lyndon Baines Johnson headquarters building.


Click here for an accessible version of the video.

This event was part of the Department’s “Read to the Top!”—the Department’s summer reading initiative—which is partnering with community organizations nationwide to combat summer reading loss as part of President Obama’s “United We Serve” national volunteer campaign. Students were from Sargent Shriver Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md., who participate in Montgomery County’s SAIL program (Summer Adventures in Learning), a free four-week summer program available in 30 Montgomery County Title I elementary schools.

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Senior White House Advisor David Axelrod and Secretary Duncan Read to Students

read-top6

This week Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod joined Secretary Duncan to read to young children on the plaza of the Department’s Lyndon Baines Johnson headquarters building. The reading event was part of the Department’s “Read to the Top!”—the Department’s summer reading initiative. This initiative is partnering with community organizations nationwide to combat summer reading loss as part of President Obama’s “United We Serve” national volunteer campaign.

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Summer Reading Initiative: “Read to the Top!”

Secretary Arne Duncan kicked off the Department’s summer reading campaign — “Read to the Top!” — with the children’s classic books “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and “Where the Wild Things Are.” The Secretary read to young children, including his own, on the plaza of the ED’s Lyndon Baines Johnson headquarters building. The initiative is in response to President Obama’s “United We Serve” national volunteer campaign that calls for all Americans to serve in their communities over the summer.

See press release.


Click here for an accessible version of the video.

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