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on this level of teaching them to read to get there.”

At Montgomery County Elementary School, Allen spoke with a group of students about the influence that his teachers had on him during his time in school. He said one of the teachers with the most impact on him was a middle school teacher, Mrs. Ward, who encouraged him to take his time and do his best on his work. “She told me that she thought I was one of the smartest kids in the class – I was just bored,” he reminisced. “It completely changed how I viewed school. I went on to be in the Top 10 of my class, and it was because of teachers like her.”

The students told Allen about their favorite things about school, and even discussed the types of books which they enjoyed.

Superintendent Stan Rentz commented on the event. ”Congressman Allen said it’s important that children learn to read by the third grade, noting, ‘If a student can't read proficiently by the third grade, there a great possibility that they won’t graduate from high school, and if they don’t graduate from high school, there’s an 85% chance they will live the rest of their lives in poverty.’” “Thank you all for what you do,” Allen shared. “My mom and dad were in education – my dad was a farmer and then got involved in education later in life, but my mom was a librarian ever since I can remember. So, I heard those talks around the kitchen table at night about what they were dealing with back then, and I can’t imagine what you’re dealing with now.”

The books are now available for students to check out at each school library, and are marked with an official stamp denoting that the books were donated from the Library of Congress inventory.

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