LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez read to a group of third graders at East Picacho Elementary School in Las Cruces Tuesday afternoon and spoke about the "New Mexico Reads to Lead" initiative to help students learn to read proficiently.
Governor Martinez sat on the floor of the library and cracked open a book to read to her young audience. The governor has been touring New Mexico reading to students to help reinforce the importance of learning to read.
"The best part of being governor is spending time with the little ones which constantly reminds me that's my number one focus," said Governor Martinez.
Martinez just launched the "New Mexico Reads to Lead" initiative that will focus on improving reading levels for about 100,000 students from kindergarten through third grade.
The $8.5 million program is strictly targeted to help get those students back on track if they can't read at the required level.
"When they leave the third grade, they're prepared for the fourth grade and now their reading in order to learn." Martinez said.
As a part of the program, the state plans on hiring 54 reading coaches to help struggling students. The coaches would be assigned to schools with the most need and help students on a one on one basis during classroom time and after school.
Martinez also hopes parents will get it and help their children at home. The initiative includes online and hard copy resources for parents to help get their kids reading more after school and during the summer.
"If the kids can get it, then why can't all of us as grown-ups get it, why can't we all be pushing for this," Martinez said.