Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hurray for an official Read Across Kauai Day!

The Kauai Children's Authors Guild is elated to announce that Kauai Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. has issued a Proclamation designating February 28th, 2014 as Read Across Kauai Day. Members of the Kauai Children’s Authors Guild were recognized for initiating a huge project to support literacy on Kauai.  The designation of this day was requested in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of early childhood education and literacy. 

"Literacy is so important." states Guild Member, Susan Dierker. 

Here are some startling literacy statistics:

  • According to 2009 NAEP results, 33% of 4th grade public school students are at or below the "Basic" level and 26% of 8th graders performed at or below the "basic" level.
  • Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. 
  • Over 70 percent of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th grade level.
  • According to UNESCO, two-thirds of the adult illiterate population are women.
  • According to NCES, 26% of children who were read to three or four times in the last week by a family member recognized all letters of the alphabet. This is compared to 14 % of children who were read to less frequently.
  • Only 53% of children ages 3-5 were read to daily by a family member (1999). Children in families with incomes below the poverty level are less likely to be read to aloud everyday than are children in families with incomes at or above poverty (UNESCO).
"After reading statistics like these, you just have to take action when you are in a position to be able to help," says Guild Member Monika Mira.

As a result, the Guild members came up with the idea of having a day designated to literacy right here on Kauai. The concept for the event, which corresponds with the date of the national Read Across America Day, is that Kauai authors will be reading books to Kauai’s preschool and kindergarten students. The authors will also be distributing books to these children on the day of the event. Children who participate in the event will  be sent home with information about the program and encouraged to read the books with their parents. The goal for the first year is to raise enough money to put 500-1000 books in Kauai’s student’s and teacher’s hands.

Any business or organization that is interested in sponsoring books for children or for a classroom is encouraged to contact the Kauai Children’s Authors Guild. Schools, libraries and educational organizations that would like to request a visit from an author should also contact the Guild.

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