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Ann Marie Battie has been Caught in the Act…


The June 2008 recipient is Ann Marie Battie (center in photo) for her many years dedicated to elementary school children in encouraging them to read.

Fifteen years ago Ann Marie read an article about a field worker family in Wenatchee. One family member shared that she had never owned a book in her childhood and had committed herself to reading to her children once a mother. The article went on to refer readers to the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) program and sited a business in Pennsylvania that provided financial and volunteer support to the local RIF program. Ann Marie called the company and spoke to the vice-president for over an hour.

She then went to the Clover Park School District superintendent and shared her idea of introducing RIF to the schools. The superintendent loved the idea and referred her to Custer Elementary School. Anne Marie had recently been elected to serve as president of the Rotary wives club. She told them she would be their president only if they would give money to buy books and volunteer at the school reading to children. They agreed and Anne Marie and her team started with the first and second grades but the program quickly moved to the secondary grades.

Reading is Fundamental is still going strong due to Ann Marie’s commitment. Each year she selects and orders the books to use in the program. Then, four times a year Anne Marie organizes a special reading event with the help of her volunteer team. At the event each student is provided with a book of their own to take home. The outcomes are that many students have become excited about reading and have improved their reading skills.

For her active commitment to young people and reading literacy, Ann Marie Battie*, “noticed” by Lakewood’s Human Services Collaboration, is receiving the traveling Red Wagon, a symbol of Lakewood’s Promise of people pulling their weight to help the youth in Lakewood.

Lakewood’s Promise mission is to mobilize people from every sector of life in Lakewood to build the character and competence of our youth by fulfilling these Promises:

Lakewood’s Community Collaboration, made up of over 100 human service organizations, service clubs, businesses, individuals and public entities presents each month a “Caught in the Act-of Keeping Lakewood’s Promise” Award to an individual or organization that has quietly performed an outstanding deed for a family/child in the City of Lakewood.

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