First lady Patricia
Blagojevich celebrates 10th anniversary of NEA's Read Across America
Day by announcing selections for her Children's Reading Club
March selections are Eric Carle's 'The Grouchy Ladybug' and Shel
Silverstein's 'A Light in the Attic'
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[March 06, 2007]
CHICAGO -- First
lady Patricia Blagojevich celebrated the national Read Across
America Day on Friday by announcing the March selections for her
Children's Reading Club -- Eric Carle's "The Grouchy Ladybug" and Shel Silverstein's "A Light in the Attic." The Children's Reading
Club, a recommended reading list made up of books the first lady and
her daughters enjoy at home, encourages parents to read with their
children and engage in early development of reading skills.
"Today, on the day of this nation's largest reading celebration,
I encourage parents to make an extra effort to show their kids how
important reading is," the first lady said. "Books like ĎA Light in
the Attic' help kids practice their reading skills and show them how
fun reading can be. Reading is a great way for parents to spend
quality time with their children, and I encourage all parents to
read with their children as often as possible."
The Children's Reading Club March selection "The Grouchy Ladybug"
has delighted readers of all ages with the story of a bad-tempered
bug who won't say "please" or "thank you," won't share, and thinks
she is bigger and better than anyone else. As children follow the
Grouchy Ladybug on her journey, they will learn the important
concepts of time, size and shape, as well as the benefits of
friendship and good manners.
The classic "A Light in the Attic" is an award-winning collection
of poetry and drawings from Shel Silverstein for children at a
middle school reading level. Silverstein was the author-artist of
many books of prose and poetry. He was also a cartoonist,
playwright, performer, recording artist and Grammy-winning,
The first lady launched the Children's Reading Club literacy
initiative in March of 2005 and has selected books such as
"Charlotte's Web," "Harriet the Spy," "The Growing-up Feet," "Henry
Huggins" and "Number the Stars" for the recommended list. Each
month's book selection is featured on the first lady's website,
http://www.illinois.gov/firstlady. The first lady hopes the
recommended list will enable parents to find books the whole family
can enjoy. The Children's Reading Club applies to all children, but
specifically targets children between the ages of 7 and 12.
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Read Across America Day is a yearly celebration culminating on
March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss. The
event serves to emphasize the importance of reading and learning in
America. Sponsored by the National Education Association and Dr.
Seuss Enterprises, Read Across America Day encourages children to
get excited about reading.
As first lady, Patricia Blagojevich has worked tirelessly to
promote initiatives that help Illinois families bring up happy,
healthy and successful children. In addition to her work with
children's literacy, the first lady spearheaded the Illinois
Pediatric Vision Awareness Initiative, the first state-sponsored
campaign in the U.S. to specifically target amblyopia, or "lazy
eye," in children. Mrs. Blagojevich has also brought attention to
Healthy Families Illinois, a program that helps prevent child abuse
by supporting high-risk parents. In addition, she has promoted the
Prevention Development Resource Project, a partnership between the
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and Prevent
Child Abuse Illinois, as well as the governor's landmark All Kids
health care plan that provides access to affordable, comprehensive
health insurance for every uninsured child in the state.
[Text from news release received from the
Illinois Office of Communication and Information]