Tuesday, May 31, 2005

GPB and DOE Urge Georgians to Read More

As every educator knows, a child needs a solid foundation in literacy to succeed in school and in life. In order to promote literacy and the importance of reading to young children, Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Georgia Department of Education have joined together to create the Georgia Read More initiative. The purpose of Georgia Read More is two fold. It allows state leaders, dignitaries, and celebrities the opportunity to support literacy awareness by reading their favorite children's book on camera, AND it drives home the importance of child literacy to students, teachers, and parents.

According to the U.S. DOE-funded Reading Rockets Project, the single most important thing families can do to help children become readers is to read to them every day. Each episode of Georgia Read More models reading for parents and children, demonstrating that reading together can be more than just a learning activity - it can be fun. Beyond simply reading aloud, it is also good practice for parents to talk with their children about the stories they have read, and to encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings about what happened in the book.

So far, four special people have given their time to share their favorite story with Georgia students, parents, and teachers in hopes of helping to promote literacy awareness in the state.

Kathy Cox - Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent Cox was the first person to volunteer to be part of the Georgia Read More initiative. She read her favorite story, The Princess Penelope, written by Todd Mack and illustrated by Julia Gran. The Princess Penelope tells the story of an ordinary young girl who imagines she is a real princess.

Mary Perdue - First Lady of Georgia
Mrs. Perdue joined the Georgia Read More initiative with a special reading of Miss Twiggley's Tree, by Dorothea Warren Fox. Mrs. Perdue read her story to a special group of young children at the Governor's Mansion in Atlanta. Miss Twiggley's Tree introduces readers to eccentric Miss Twiggley, who earns her town's gratitude after years of living in isolation.

Jimmy Carter - Former President of the United States
President Carter contributed to the Georgia Read More initiative by reading his book, Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer, to students at the Carter Center in Atlanta. This book for children of all ages describes how Jeremy makes friends with the baby Snoogle-Fleejer, which he first takes to be a monster.

John Smoltz - Atlanta Braves Player
John Smoltz, Braves pitcher and father of four, joined Georgia Read More effort to promote literacy by reading The Monster Who Ate My Peas, by Danny Schnitzlein. This story, which tells about a little boy who makes a deal with a monster to avoid eating his peas, teaches readers not to make hasty judgments, but to try new things.

Plans are underway to produce three additional episodes. The Georgia Read More series is currently scheduled to air on Channel 430. See listings for broadcast dates and times.