Local officials promote literacy with Outdoor Storytime event


WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The D.C. State Board of Education, along with the D.C. Public Library, came together to host a District-wide Outdoor Storytime event on Wednesday, April 14.

The event was held across all eight wards at the same time, and parents could bring their students to read along. Several Councilmembers came to the event to lead the group along with Board of Education members.

The event gave community members a chance to interact with elected officials in a non-formal setting while giving students a chance to see reading as a part of everyday activities.

Ward 2 DCSBOE member, Allister Chang, explained, “70% of our fourth graders are not passing their reading proficiency test. 70% are not passing. We have got a lot of work to do in terms of fostering literacy in D.C., and a piece of that is fostering a love of reading.”

The event was capped at 50 people due to COVID-19 regulations, but Chang said there was a lot of interest in the event, which is why the DCSBOE is working to make Outdoor Storytime a more regular event.

“Learning how to read can be frustrating, particularly if you feel like you’re doing it in isolation,” says Allister Chang, the event’s lead organizer and the Ward 2 Member on the DCSBOE. “All of us have a role to play in supporting students in their literacy learning. Today is about neighbors supporting neighbors in a time of extreme isolation.”

Representative Chang invites community members to reach out via e-mail (allister.chang@dc1.gov) if they are interested in co-organizing more “Outdoor Storytime” events in their neighborhood.

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