U.S. Senator Jack Reed and the Women's Fund of RI celebrate Women's History Month 2016 at Johnson & Wales University's Rhode Island Room. The focus of the 2016 celebration was "Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government".
An accomplished panel of leaders in Rhode Island government spoke with people from across the state. Panelists included Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea, Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, and Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, Nicole Alexander-Scott.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed today hosted a special medal ceremony honoring World War II Navy Veteran Andrew Kacharo, 95, of Pawtucket. Reed presented Mr. Kacharo with the military awards he earned but never received following his World War II service with the U.S. Navy.
Born in Pawtucket, Mr. Kacharo was just 21 years old when he joined the Navy in October 1942. He served during World War II as a Fireman First Class until October 1945.
“On behalf of a grateful nation today it was my honor to present Mr. Kacharo with the military awards he earned in service to this country. Mr. Kacharo’s selfless courage and sacrifice will never be forgotten, and these medals will serve as a small token of our enduring respect and gratitude. Mr. Kacharo and so many of his fellow World War II veterans are humble about their service, and it is important that we continue to honor and celebrate their extraordinary contributions to our nation,” said Senator Reed, a former Army Ranger and the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Reed, U.S. Coast Guard Celebrate Completion of Multi-Million Dollar Upgrade to Waterfront at Naval Station Newport
U.S. Senator Jack Reed today was joined by Admiral Linda Fagan, the 1st U.S. Coast Guard District Commander, representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and Naval Station Newport, and Rhode Island construction workers for a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the completion of the new Coast Guard wharf project at Naval Station Newport.
A senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Reed worked over the years to secure over $30 million for the Coast Guard and U.S. Navy to upgrade the waterfront area and provide for the construction of an 18,000 square foot, two-story masonry building containing support facilities for the Coast Guard Buoy tenders assigned to Naval Station Newport.
“This upgrade to the waterfront at Naval Station Newport is critical for the Coast Guard personnel working to defend our coastline, as well as the many other agencies that utilize the base. I was pleased to help direct federal funds home to Rhode Island to make these enhancements and build this new facility. While we count on the Coast Guard and other national security agencies to always be ready, we also need to maintain and improve our infrastructure to make sure that they have the facilities and equipment necessary to carry out their varied missions,” said Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management held a special ceremony to mark construction on a new “green” beach pavilion at Lincoln Woods State Park. Lincoln Woods, located just outside the Providence metro area, is one of Rhode Island's most popular state parks, attracting nearly one million visitors each year.
The project will modernize facilities and visitor amenities at the Lincoln Woods beach while also improving energy efficiency and enhancing water quality in the lake. Three new buildings, connected by a central plaza, will be constructed; the fully-accessible buildings will house concessions, office space, restroom and shower facilities, and a nature center for educational programming. They were designed both to honor the history and aesthetic of the park as well as reduce their impact on the natural environment through the use of efficient technology, recycled materials, and innovative design strategies.
“The beach will always be the main attraction, but once it is completed this new facility will really enhance the visitor experience. I was pleased to work with the National Park Service to direct $1.7 million in federal funding to help make this restoration project a reality. The new pavilion offers a major upgrade in both aesthetic and practical terms. It will enhance recreational, educational, and ecological opportunities here at the park and be a model for sustainability,” said Senator Reed, the former Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Committee, which oversees the National Park Service’s budget.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed joined health professionals and childhood literacy advocates from Reach Out and Read RI at the Chafee Health Center in Providence to celebrate President Obama signing Reed’s Prescribe a Book Act into law. Reed’s legislation creates federal grant opportunities for pediatric early literacy initiatives, authorizing competitive funding that could be used to help doctors and nurses provide low-income parents with a children’s book to take home at every wellness visit. This marks the first time a pediatric early literacy promotion initiative has been written into federal education policy.
The legislation authorizes funding for literacy programs that target at-risk children. This law builds upon the success of Reach Out and Read, an evidence-based organization that addresses the importance of reaching children in the first years of life by incorporating literacy promotion into pediatric care. Coupled with the measures the Senator added into the ESSA to support school libraries along with other literacy provisions, the new law contains an enhanced focus on helping young people read.
“Literacy is the foundation for learning. Developing and building these skills begins at home, with parents as the first teachers. That is the basis for the Prescribe a Book Act, and its inclusion in the Every Student Succeeds Act is an important step forward. Helping young people learn to read is one of the most important things in terms of setting them along the right path and helping them develop the skills they’ll need to be successful. This initiative empowers parents to help their kids and provides them with free books to get started,” said Senator Reed, the author of the bipartisan Prescribe a Book Act, which was cosponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
Senator Reed stopped by East Greenwich High School to visit with student working groups and participate in the school’s “Choose2Matter” conference, a national movement that challenges students to work collaboratively to develop innovative solutions to social problems.
The conference presents an opportunity for students to work together to develop an action plan to address an issue that they want to change. Senator Reed will offer the student groups feedback as they develop their plans. Last year, the students tackled the issue of financial literacy and following their advocacy, Rhode Island adopted financial literacy standards and high schools in the state starting adding financial literacy course electives.
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