DENVER – Monday, May 6, 2013 – Gov. John Hickenlooper announced at today’s Colorado Literacy Week launch the selection of Duck on a Bike, by David Shannon, as this year’s choice for One Book 4 Colorado. One Book 4 Colorado (OB4C) is a statewide initiative to support family reading at home and instill a love of learning in Colorado youngsters.
“One Book 4 Colorado engages more than 70,000 children in the magic of reading by putting a wonderful book in their hands,” Hickenlooper said. “Colorado Literacy Week is a time for all of us to come together, focus on the importance of early literacy to the future of this state and then, do something about it. Everyone can play a part: donate to book drives, volunteer at your local school or library, or simply read to a child.”
More than 70,000 copies of the book will be distributed to children across Colorado at local library events, at Reach Out and Read clinics and doctors’ offices and through participating preschools. The book will be available in both English and Spanish and will be accessible to children with special needs. A statewide distribution of the Duck on a Bike and a multitude of family literacy events will take place May 6 - 20, coinciding with Colorado Literacy Week 2013.
“Learning to read has the power to transform a child’s life and help ensure future success in school,” said Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia. “We’re one step closer to meeting the needs of a robust economy with a well-educated workforce every time a child learns to read.”
One Book 4 Colorado is the result of collaboration between the Office of Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, Serve Colorado, the Denver Preschool Program, Reach Out and Read Colorado, the Colorado State Library, public libraries, the private sector and the foundation community. It is modeled after the successful Preschool One Book One Denver program originated by the Denver Preschool Program and presented by Denver Public Library, and Reach Out and Read Colorado. Both programs are premised on the idea that providing young children with access to quality books promotes early literacy and helps families serve as their children’s first and most important teachers.
Colorado Literacy Week 2013 will highlight how communities across the state organize their talents and resources to reach the goal of every child reading proficiently and celebrates the partnership between state government and local communities to advance literacy. Dozens of public and private partners are engaging in these conversations, including local school districts, not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions, parent groups and teacher organizations. Several community conversations will take place throughout the week, including in metro Denver, the San Juan valley, the North Front range and in central mountain counties.
Sponsors for this year’s One Book 4 Colorado include: Aspen Community Foundation, Anythink Library, Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, Comcast, Cydney and Tom Marsico Foundation, Delta Dental, The Denver Post Community Foundation, Douglas County Library, Early Childhood Leadership Commission, Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC), Entravision, Greenberg Traurig, Junior League of Denver, McDonald's, David and Laura Merage Foundation, Rocky Mountain PBS, Southwest Airlines, Teletech, Walmart.
Office of Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia
Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia’s early literacy focus stems from his efforts to ensure every Colorado child is reading on grade level by the end of third grade. He wants to draw public attention to the critical importance of early learning and to launch numerous efforts that will put Colorado’s children on a path to reading success. One Book 4 Colorado is part of Colorado Reads 2013: The Early Literacy Initiative, the state’s plan to help ensure every child in Colorado learns to read. The plan and more information about the Lt. Governor’s initiatives can be found at www.colorado.gov/ltgovernor.
About Serve Colorado
Serve Colorado – Governor’s Commission on Community Service strives to build a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in Colorado. Serve Colorado works under the leadership of a board of 15 Commissioners to distribute and administer Colorado’s allocation of AmeriCorps*State funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The current program portfolio consists of 18 programs working to meet a variety of immediate and local needs throughout Colorado communities, including environmental stewardship, educational achievement, academic tutoring, youth mentoring, healthy futures, economic opportunity, and more! Additionally, Serve Colorado promotes volunteerism and service as a means to strengthen Colorado communities through days of service, special initiatives, and community partnerships.
About Reach Out and Read Colorado
Reach Out and Read Colorado is an evidence-based nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. Reach Out and Read Colorado builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop critical early reading skills in children, beginning at 6 months of age. The more than 84,000 children served annually by Reach Out and Read Colorado read together more often, and their children enter kindergarten better prepared to succeed, with larger vocabularies, stronger language skills, and a six-month developmental edge over their peers.
About Colorado State Library
The Colorado State Library, a division of the Colorado Department of Education, provides leadership and expertise in developing library-related policies, activities, and services for school, public, academic, and special libraries. Through an advisory board, Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy, and public libraries, the State Library promotes early literacy to parents, children, and child care providers throughout Colorado.
About Denver Preschool Program
The Denver Preschool Program, approved by Denver voters in 2006, is a ground-breaking tax-funded initiative designed to increase Denver children’s access to high-quality preschool. Now celebrating its fifth year, the Program has provided over $40 million in tuition support to help more than 25,000 Denver families send their child to the quality preschool of their choice, and independent evaluation results confirm that the vast majority of these children have left preschool prepared for kindergarten.