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SD first lady encourages Howard students to read

South Dakota first lady Linda Daugaard reads to students at Howard Elementary School Thursday. (Submitted Photo)

HOWARD (AP) -- South Dakota's first lady read to third, fourth and fifth graders Thursday at Howard Elementary School.

The governor's office says it was the 150th elementary school Linda Daugaard has visited as part of her initiative to encourage students to read. She began the campaign on May 8, 2011, to stress the importance of reading as a lifelong learning tool.

Daugaard says good reading skills form the basis of learning. She says young students sometimes lose interest after the first few years in grade school and she hopes the visits encourage students to continue. The first lady also uses the exchange to provide students receiving the books with a South Dakota geography lesson, explaining from which school the books came and using a map to show the town.