Thursday, June 16, 2016
Samantha Hart
Press Secretary
(317) 232-0550

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz released her summer video message for Hoosier families today. Today’s message provides families with resources and information on the 2016 Summer Food Service Program, literacy resources available to Hoosier students and the Department’s Imagine 2020 Plan.

A link to the video can be found here.

Text of the Superintendent’s remarks can be found below:

“Thank you to all the moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, aunts, uncles and so many others for all you do to support your children during the school year.

“As a mom and a grandma, I know that summer is an exciting time to travel and spend time with friends and family, but for many students it also means time without access to adequate nutrition. That’s why, this summer, the Department has partnered with more than 260 community sponsors to provide free meals and snacks to children ages 18 and under. You can find a location near you by visiting the Department’s website, or you can call 2-1-1 or text the word “food” to 877-877.

“I hope your child’s teacher shared the free access to online books through myON with your child before the end of the school year. These books are still accessible through the Hoosier Family of Readers website during the summer, so keep reading. As a bicentennial project, we set a goal of students reading 200,000 books by December 2016. But we have already far surpassed that number. In fact, students have read nearly a million books…so I have decided to increase our goal and challenge students to read 2 million books by December 2016! Gear up this summer and next fall for reading!

“In 2013, I came to the Department of Education with a strong vision for students that reflected my 34 years of teaching: Imagining the possibilities and making them happen — doing whatever it takes to meet the needs of every individual child.

“Since then, my Department has embarked on a mission to build an education system of equity and high quality, focused on student-centered accountability.

“I am incredibly proud of the work that we have done in recent years, but there is still much work to be done. That is why I recently announced the vision for the Indiana Department of Education as we plan for the next budget session of the Indiana General Assembly: Imagine 2020.

“Together, we can ensure that

  • all Indiana 4-year-old students have access to fully funded high quality Pre-K programs
  • that all students have more time for learning and spend less time on testing
  • and that all students leave our high schools prepared for post-secondary education and training to enter living wage careers.

“To make these possibilities become realities, we must focus on:

  • Equity in student access to resources and instructional support,
  • High quality instruction from the very best educators with high learning expectations and support for all Hoosier students, and a
  • Student-centered approach that focuses on the diverse needs of each and every student to exit our Pre-K – 12 education system prepared to succeed in college and career opportunities.

“Moving forward, I am committed to building on the accomplishments of the last four years and working with all branches of state government to serve your children as we Imagine 2020.”