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Coming up on Connections: Tuesday, November 28, 2023

A person with an open book on their lap Krusemark

First hour: What can communities and schools do to help improve literacy rates among kids?

Second hour: What do young Democrats want from their party?

American children are struggling to read in troubling numbers. A recent documentary brought out a packed auditorium at East High School. Among them was Rochester City School District Commissioner Camille Simmons, who has been thinking about her own possible contributions to reading rates in Rochester. We talk about why popular approaches have not worked and what communities and schools can do next. Our guests:

  • Camille Simmons, commissioner for the Rochester City School District
  • Jessica Millan, parent and literacy champion
  • Ashara Baker, parent and New York State director at the National Parents Union
  • Matt Present, founder of the Rochester Chapter of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Then in our second hour, what do young Democrats want from their party? Last week, we as asked young conservatives that question, and this hour, we explore it with their Democratic peers. Polls show President Biden struggling with young voters – a change from 2020, when he won voters ages 18 to 29 by more than 20 points in the election. This hour, our guests share their thoughts on the state of the party and what they’d like to see as the Presidential race heats up. Our guests:

  • Avi Presberg, president of the Monroe County Young Democrats who works at the Monroe County Board of Elections, and has previously worked at the Monroe County Democratic Committee
  • Justine Bartnick, legislative director for the Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature who led Monroe County Democratic Committee’s 2023 coordinated campaign and served as campaign manager for Assemblymember Jen Lunsford in 2022
  • Ryan Guerra, leader of the LD23 Democratic Committee, and volunteer for multiple candidates through several cycles
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.