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BY EMMA MILLER

A Better Jamaica plans to hold the first Jamaica Read-A-Thon on Monday, Oct. 15 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Jamaica Center/Parsons Archer subway station.

The read-a-thon will feature 12 hours of local celebrities reading their favorite children’s books. Forty-eight different people will read for 15 minutes each.

The read-a-thon is to raise awareness of low literacy rates in the area as well as raise money for expansion of the Jamaica Reads program. Of the 43 elementary schools in Community Boards 12 and 13, only nine have English Language Arts pass rates greater than 50 percent.

Jamaica Reads is a program run by A Better Jamaica where senior citizens tutor first-graders who are struggling to learn to read. The program has provided one and a half hours of weekly tutoring to the bottom third of first-graders at P.S. 36 since 2010 thanks to funding from Councilman I. Daneek Miller. This year the program is expanding to a second school with the help of Councilwoman Adrienne Adams.

“We’re thrilled to be able to expand Jamaica Reads to a second school, but we need additional funding to guarantee the success of the program’s expansion,” said Greg Mays, executive director of A Better Jamaica.

More readers are still needed for the event. Call Greg Mays at 718-657-2605 or email greg.mays@abetterjamaica.org if you are interested. Readers need to bring in at least $250 each.

If you would like to support the read-a-thon or see an updated list of readers, go to thejamaicareadathon.com.

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