Indiana's Superintendent of Public Instruction is marking Veterans Day by announcing a literacy program with the National Guard. Glenda Ritz says Boots for Books will involve Indiana National Guard soldiers working with schools and after school programs throughout the state. Ritz will also detail plans for a new veterans-to-teacher scholarship program today during visits to Fort Wayne and South Bend. November 11, 2013

News ReleaseINDIANAPOLIS – On Veterans Day, Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz made two special announcements that detailed a new literacy partnership with the Indiana National Guard and a new incentive program that is designed to attract Veterans to Indiana classrooms.

Superintendent Glenda Ritz has formed a new literacy partnership with the Indiana National Guard called Boots for Books. “In our efforts to build a culture of readers in Indiana through our Hoosier Family of Readers initiative, the Indiana National Guard has joined over 263 literacy partners to build a culture of readers in Indiana,” stated Ritz. “Boots for Books will give Indiana National Guard soldiers the opportunity to work with students in 30 schools and 30 after school programs across Indiana to ensure students are reading by third grade.”

Please follow this link to view a short video about the Boots for Books reading initiative:

While making stops in Fort Wayne and South Bend on Monday, Superintendent Ritz announced that she is working with State Senator C. Susan Glick (Lagrange, IN) to draft legislation for the 2014 legislative session to launch a new veterans-to-teacher scholarship program, Second Service. The new incentive program would expand the existing Combat to Classroom program that funds two and four year scholarships, and translate military training and experience into college credits that will assist Indiana veterans in earning a degree in K-12 education from universities in Indiana. Participants in the program would be required to teach in an Indiana school for one year.

“I want to ensure that the men and women who have served our country as Airmen, Marines, Sailors and Soldiers have an opportunity to serve our state, and ultimately, our nation, as educators,” stated Superintendent Ritz. “The Second Service incentive program would offer financial assistance and college credits to any post 9-11 veteran who has a strong desire to continue serving Hoosiers in the classroom.”

Superintendent Ritz talked about the benefits of attracting veterans to the education profession. “Veterans have the skills, experiences and work ethic needed to manage a classroom. They understand what it means to serve their community, and I can’t think of a group of individuals who are as dedicated to the mission of service as veterans,” Ritz concluded. “They deserve an opportunity to serve our community, and I hope the Second Service incentive program will attract veterans to help educate our next generation of Hoosiers.”Source: Indiana Department of Education

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