- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - The chairman of the Illinois Board of Education is challenging the East St. Louis community to volunteer for a program designed to improve students’ reading skills.

The “Read to Succeed” challenge begins April 11 and runs for six consecutive Saturdays through May 16. Volunteers are asked to spend two hours reading to students each week.

The state board took authority over the East St. Louis district in 2013 after years of poor test scores. High school graduation rates and enrollment in AP courses have increased since.

Chairman James Meeks says studies show students who are not reading proficiently by third grade are at risk of not graduating high school. Though many volunteers have come forward he wants more people to “help children at this critical age.”

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Online: www.estl189.com

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