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ASTAC Supporting Youth with Battle of the Books Program Contribution

All Eight North Slope Area Schools to Compete

Barrow, Alaska – ASTAC presented $15,000 to the North Slope Borough School District’s (NSBSD) Battle of the Books program during ASTAC’s Annual Board Meeting in Barrow on July 8, 2014. NSBSD’s federal funding for the program was not renewed, creating an opportunity for ASTAC to step in and contribute to a program it supports. Approximately 200 students across all 8 North Slope area schools will compete against one another during the 2014-2015 school year. The donation will cover the cost of books, teacher’s time and recognition awards.

“The Battle of the Books program is a great opportunity for ASTAC to give back to the communities in which we serve. Strong reading skills offer many opportunities including college, business ownership, and civic engagement which all support the local economies within the North Slope region,” says Steve Merriam, ASTAC General Manager/CEO.

The original idea for this reading motivation and comprehension program came from a radio program sponsored by the Chicago Public Library in the early 1940’s. Many years later another Chicago area school librarian brought the idea with her to Kodiak, using it during 1981-1982 school year and word of the program spread. The goals of the program are to encourage and recognize students who enjoy reading, broaden reading interests, increase reading comprehension, and promote academic excellence.

Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative, Inc (ASTAC), headquartered in Anchorage, is a member-owned telephone utility cooperative providing telecommunication services to residents on the North Slope Borough of Alaska since 1981. Services include local, long distance, Internet, wireless and LAN/WAN. For more information, visit www.astac.net.

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