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Children's Literacy Round-Up: January 4th

I've been offline for the holidays, but I'm happy to report that children's literacy-related news stories have continued to proliferate. Here are a few highlights:

  • Fifth grade students in Samatha Jone's class at the Westmore Elementary School in Provo, Utah participated in a Scholastic Book Club program that resulted in a donation of 100 books to disadvantaged children. The kids in the class had to read 100 titles by December 31st, in order to qualify for the donation. They finished in early December. You can read more in this Daily Herald article.
  • The Domino's Pizza franchise in New Bedford, MA held a celebrity pizza night that resulted in 9100 books donated to needy children. Several local celebrities (the mayor, police chief, schools superintendent, etc.) participated by delivering pizzas." More than 100 pizza people, and two dozen celebrities, were involved in this year's effort. Between 5 and 8 p.m., the three stores sold more than 1,000 pizzas to benefit the Neediest Families Fund." Read more in this SouthCoastToday article.
  • Ontario's lieutenant-governor, James Bartleman, is appealing to local residents to donate new and gently used books to aboriginal children living in remote communities of the province. "Bartleman said too many aboriginal children living in remote communities do not know how to read and do not have ready access to libraries that are taken for granted elsewhere in the province", according to an article on the CBCNews website. Mr. Bartleman believes that improving literacy for these children will reduce "the suicide epidemic among children and youth that has been raging out of sight and out of mind in the north of our province".
  • The First Book Blog recently published a thank you email from a group of book recipients in South Carolina. The sender noted that "These books provided us the opportunity to further express the importance of reading to our children."

Here's to wishing that 2007 brings lots of books into the hands of children who need them!