Read to Them

PRESS RELEASE – February 26, 2019

Fluvanna County elementary schools are excited to participate this year in the Virginia Reads One Book program. West Central Primary, Central Elementary and Carysbrook Elementary are among 143 Virginia elementary schools and their families who are all set to read the same book together in March. “We’re excited that in this second year of Virginia Reads One Book the number of participating students has grown from 40,000 to 60,000 students,” says Read to Them Executive Director John Dwyer.

The official kickoff date is Friday, March 1, for each of the 60,000 participating students to receive their own copies of “Cleo Edison Oliver: Playground Millionaire” by Sundee T. Frazier. “At kick-off events in each school, students will receive their own copies of “Cleo Edison Oliver: Playground Millionaire” to take home and read with their families,” says Read to Them Program Director Cathy Plageman (PLAG-man). “The kick offs will also include a video of a mystery reader — provided by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation – reading the first chapter aloud. For the next three weeks, students and their families read a chapter each night at home, coordinating with classroom and school-wide activities.”

“Cleo Edison Oliver” is a chapter book featuring a sassy, confident, independent, enterprising girl who is ready to take on the world. Cleo is an African-American elementary school girl who is focused on business, whether it’s selling avocados, homemade dog food or concocting a money-making scheme to pull loose teeth. Her story takes place on the playground — and along the way she discovers basic financial principles. “We expect the students will have a lot of fun reading about Cleo,” says Plageman. “In fact, we hope it may even inspire some students to become budding entrepreneurs themselves!”

“Virginia Reads One Book is designed to help schools and communities build reading habits, increase student literacy, family literacy and family financial literacy,” says Dwyer.

Special thanks to these sponsors who have made this exciting program possible: Virginia Bankers Association Education Foundation, Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, Virginia Council on Economic Education and Tackle Reading.

Read to Them is a Richmond based non-profit promoting family literacy. A growing body of research shows that children who are read to learn to read more easily and become better readers. Literacy skills provide the basis for a lifetime of learning and productivity. For more information, visit


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