September 23, 2008 Center for the Book and Read It LOUD! Form Partnership To Promote Reading To Young People
Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Read It LOUD! Foundation have formed a partnership to encourage parents and other caregivers to read to their children daily. The goal of the partnership is to inspire 5 million parents and caregivers to read daily to their children by 2014. According to the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education, “reading to young children promotes language acquisition and literacy development and, later on, achievement in reading comprehension and overall success in school. The percentage of young children read aloud to daily by a family member is one indicator of how well young children are prepared for school.” “The Read It LOUD! program is a natural partnership for the Center for the Book, which has promoted reading and literacy since its establishment in 1977,” said John Y. Cole, the center’s director. “We sponsor several reading-promotion programs specifically for young people, such as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature [www.childrensbookambassador.com], Letters About Literature [www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/letters/], River of Words [www.riverofwords.org] and a lifelong literacy initiative [www.literacy.gov].” “Picture a child sitting comfortably in his parent’s lap, enjoying a story being read aloud. This child is discovering the gift of love, language, imagination and a promising future,” said Wally Amos, chairman of the Read It LOUD! Foundation. “With the support of the Library of Congress and our other sponsors, we will have 5 million parents and caregivers reading daily to children by 2014.” The program seeks participation by anyone who has children in his or her life and also will encourage persons with disabilities—parents, caregivers and children—to participate. The Read It LOUD! program will be advertised in shopping malls throughout the country, through Web sites, in libraries and other locations. Popular children’s characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog will also draw attention to the program. Other partners in the program are the Children’s Book Council, First Book and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Reactrix is donating advertising space in shopping malls. Other sponsors are Verizon, Gulfstream, Evergreen, Savannah College of Art and Design, Chips & Cookie and Uncle Wally’s. The Center for the Book was established by Congress in 1977 “to use the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to promote books, reading, literacy and libraries.” With its many educational programs that reach readers of all ages, through its support of the National Book Festival and through its dynamic state centers in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Center for the Book has developed a nationwide network of organizational partners dedicated to promoting the wonders and benefits of reading. The center’s Books and Beyond author series brings writers of all genres to the Library of Congress to discuss their work.