STEEP FALLS, MAINE – May 9, 2024 ‐ On Thursday, Ashley Cram’s fourth-grade students were presented with a Little Free Library by Grace Leavitt, President of the Maine Education Association (MEA), for their success in the Read Across Maine Contest. Read Across Maine, hosted each March by the MEA, is part of the National Education Association’s Read Across America initiative.   

Cram says that she challenged her students to read one chapter for every mile between Steep Falls and New Sweden, a total of 545 miles, or 545 chapters, in March. Cram’s class surpassed this goal by reading 553 chapters, earning the class one of MEA’s grand prizes, a Little Free Library, and $1,000 worth of books for their classroom library.   

“Throughout the month of March, I saw students branching out across multiple genres, themes, and topics and truly exploring their reading on a deeper level. We had more conversations about reading and their comprehension than ever before, and I truly believe that this challenge kickstarted a love of reading for most of my learners,” said Cram.

“Read Across Maine encourages students to develop a love for reading and deepen their understanding of themselves and their communities,” said Grace Leavitt. “Mrs. Cram’s students now have a Little Free Library as a platform to share their love for reading and books with their community.” 

In all, MEA awarded four prizes for the Read Across Maine Contest; Holly Morgan’s class at Palermo Consolidated School also earned a grand prize, Kim Nielsen’s third-grade class at Crooked River Elementary earned second place, Nick Fuller’s fourth-grade class at CK Burns School won third place.