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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2000

First Lady Celebrates Dr. Seuss' Birthday

SPRINGFIELD -- First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan called attention to increasing family literacy by reading a Dr. Seuss book to enthralled students at Fairview Elementary School in celebration of Read Across America Day and the 96th birthday of the late, famous children's author.

Mrs. Ryan read Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham, which has always been one of the Ryan family's favorite stories. The children at Fairview also were treated to a breakfast of green eggs and ham in honor of the First Lady's story selection.

"Some of my most cherished memories of my children and grandchildren are holding them in my lap and reading through the pages of our favorite stories," said Mrs. Ryan.

Improving the educational system in Illinois is the top priority of the Ryan Administration. Included in the Governor's Fiscal Year 2001 budget is a $32.5 million increase for Mrs. Ryan's Futures for Kids Initiative. In addition, elementary and secondary education funding will receive $20 million for the Summer Bridge programs, $5 million for family literacy programs, and $6.5 million for reading programs throughout the state.

"It is essential that all of Illinois' children learn to love reading. As parents we must do all that we can to support our state's teachers in developing our children's literacy level," said Mrs. Ryan.


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