Iowa's First Lady Brings Books to Dubuque Kids - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa's First Lady Brings Books to Dubuque Kids

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First Lady of Iowa Mari Culver talks with children at Hillcrest Family Services about the importance of reading. Mrs. Culver's daughter sits to her left. First Lady of Iowa Mari Culver talks with children at Hillcrest Family Services about the importance of reading. Mrs. Culver's daughter sits to her left.

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Iowa's first lady made a stop in Dubuque Saturday to give the gift of reading.

Mari Culver visited Hillcrest Family Services with a box of books in hand. Scholastic donated the books as part of its nationwide Summer Reading Challenge.

The first lady spoke with kids about the importance of reading, and each kid got to pick out three books to keep.

"If they don't read enough in the summer, they lose those competencies and skills that they built up all [school year]," Mrs. Culver said. "And then, when they start school in the fall, they're a little farther behind than they otherwise would have been. So keeping current on your reading over the summer, reading at least four- to five books, will help prevent that fall-off in the fall."

Mari Culver is not the only first spouse getting involved. Scholastic teamed up with wives and husbands of governors all across the U.S. The program encourages children to read at least 15 minutes each day.

"I think the studies show that if, when your children are young, if you read to them before they can read and then read with them when they're learning to read and then encourage them to read as they're new readers," Mrs. Culver said, "then they will eventually catch the reading bug and read on their own."

Now and throughout the summer, the governor's wife is making her way to children's shelters and programs around the state.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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