EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The El Paso Independent School District campuses devoted 30 minutes to literacy during its annual marquee Read Across the District (RAD) event held at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17.

The event serves as proof to the district’s commitment to providing a well-rounded education that focuses on both academic excellence and the overall development of children, according to the district.

El Paso ISD recognizes that reading is a fundamental skill that serves as a “cornerstone for academic success.” By encouraging students to read, the district aims to improve their comprehension, critical thinking and communication skills.

In addition, reading opens doors to new worlds, broadens perspectives and nurtures creativity, enabling students to become well-rounded individuals, according to the district.

“We believe that reading is not just a skill but a gateway to knowledge and personal growth,” Sayavedra said. “By promoting reading across the district, we are empowering our students to become lifelong learners and helping them unlock their full potential.”   

El Paso ISD started RAD in 2015 when it combined the literacy initiative with district goals to engage the community.

Campuses throughout the district invite civic leaders, business partners, celebrity readers and other volunteers to their schools to read to students in younger grades.

In middle and high schools, students participate by having teachers encourage the use of digital or paper reading materials during the 30-minute event, according to the district.

RAD is one of a long line of initiatives the district engages in to promote literacy. Chief among them is “Buenas Noches, El Paso” – a virtual literacy initiative featuring notable figures from the district and the community reading children’s books online.

To see the complete series of Buenas Noches, El Paso go to episd.org/buenasnoches.  

In September, the district partnered with the El Paso American Federation of Teachers to give away over 35,000 books during the Family Literacy Festival at Magoffin Middle School. The event is one of several opportunities this year where children will have the opportunity to receive free books, according to the district.

Additionally, the district also developed a new literacy instructional framework to increase students’ opportunities to thrive.

The district partnered with The New Teacher Project to design a framework that supports literacy and biliteracy instruction, creates an optimal learning environment and increases student success in the foundations of literacy — reading, writing, listening and speaking.