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News Release: PGCPS and BookNook Announce Community Reading Initiative

October 14, 2020
For Immediate Release


Office of Communications

PGCPS READS, an innovative community tutoring initiative, will help students strengthen literacy skills during virtual learning

UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) and BookNook will launch PGCPS READS, a new literacy tutoring initiative that will provide students with small group reading instruction. This initiative will help students strengthen and reinforce skills during virtual learning.

PGCPS will partner with professional tutors, various community leaders, nonprofit and civic organizations through the end of the school year to pair adult volunteers and tutors with 4,000 students in kindergarten through second grade. The adult volunteers will spend 1-2 hours per week reading virtually with their students.

“We are embarking on an unprecedented initiative to bring our community together during virtual learning,” said Dr. Monica Goldson, Chief Executive Officer. “We know from research how isolating virtual learning can be for our youngest students. Today’s announcement will provide our youngest learners with greater support and enrichment, while also providing them with access to Reading Guides who can share the experience of a fun and exciting book.”

The school system will use BookNook, a comprehensive online reading program, to offer up to 4,000 students access to 800 different texts in English and Spanish. With BookNook, students receive instruction in basic skills, vocabulary development and reading comprehension. Reports of student progress are measured after each lesson

"We have seen the power of programs like this all across America and are excited to partner with PGCPS to bring the community together to support students," said Michael Lombardo, founder and CEO of BookNook.

PGCPS READS will launch in November with the following partners: Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, Kingdom Fellowship A.M.E. Church, Reid Temple A.M.E. Church and The Ivy Community Charities of Prince George’s County, Inc. Individuals and groups interested in volunteering should contact Barbara Holt Streeter, Partnerships Officer, at or visit for more details.