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DNR Secretary Reads to West Annapolis First Graders

Annapolis, Md. (April 3, 2012) –Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary John Griffin read to the first grade students of West Annapolis Elementary School on March 30 as part of Governor Martin O’Malley’s Read Across Maryland statewide literacy initiative. Griffin, who has visited the school numerous times, read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and Meet Chadwick and His Chesapeake Bay Friends by Pricilla Cummings during his visit.

“By reading stories like The Lorax, we’re not only encouraging students to pick up a book but also teaching important lessons in stewardship,” said Secretary Griffin. “As The Lorax states ‘Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.’”

Every year, children and adults participate in the National Education Association’s Read Across America campaign, celebrating the birthday of Theodor Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss. In 2009, The Maryland State Education Association formed a partnership with Governor O’Malley to promote Read Across Maryland, a statewide literacy initiative that encourages children to read. Maryland’s public school students were treated to readings by community leaders, elected officials, published authors and educators throughout March.

To ensure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards, Governor Martin O’Malley established the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature in 2008. Under the initiative, which is now being used as a national model, Maryland became the first State to adopt environmental literacy graduation requirements. The Partnership’s report and recommendations presented to Governor O’Malley in April 2009 have led to an ambitious action plan now in place to implement many new initiatives across the State, involving multiple partners. Central to the work of the Partnership is supporting school systems as they develop their environmental literacy programs, and guiding effective and accessible outdoor learning and recreation for all.

   April 3, 2012

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at