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WFEA, FEW planning activities to promote reading awareness

The West Fargo Education Association (WFEA) and the Fargo Education Association (FEA), local affiliates of the North Dakota Education Association, are joining together to promote their professional image in the community as educators and increase the awareness of early reading and reading readiness with activities planned throughout the community during "Read Across America Week" March 1-5, and throughout the month of March. 

The goal of the observance is to: educate the community on the importance of reading at a young age through the media as well as to contribute reading books to parents and agencies responsible for child development throughout the community in March. In that regard, WFEA and FEA are organizing used or nearly new book collections during Read Across America Week from March 1-5 in the West Fargo and Fargo School Districts. The books will be donated by school staff from all of the school buildings, and be presented by Kim Belgarde, FEA President, and Joan Connor, WFEA President, on behalf of the school districts to the Women's YWCA on March 16, at 4 p.m., the Family Health Center and the Homeless Shelter, both at dates to be determined in March.

In doing so, the groups are involving the community by including Fargo MeritCare Health System and Innovis Health System, and arrange to present "Books for Babies" to the hospitals for parents of newborns, a total of 150 books, to both health systems on March 3. Belgarde and Connor will also conduct these presentations first at 4 p.m. at the MeritCare's Children's Hospital, and at 4:45 p.m. at Innovis Hospital.

WFEA and FEA also encourage all teachers to join in and celebrate the 13th annual National Education Association (NEA's) Read Across America Day on March 2, the birthday of Dr. Suess,' the author whose books epitomize reading fun. Both school districts will conduct a "Jeans Day" on March 2, allowing staff members, who make a $1 donation, to wear jeans for the day. The money collected from the Fargo Schools and the West Fargo Schools will be donated to the Nokomis Center to purchase educational materials. The presentation by Belgarde and Connor for this project will occur on March 16, at 4:45 p.m., at the Nokomis Center.