Tuesday, September 27, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today proclaimed the week of Sept. 26 through Sept. 30, 2011 as Early Childhood Awareness Week in Oklahoma and stressed the importance of supporting early childhood literacy in the state. Together with Reach Out and Read Oklahoma, she encouraged parents to read daily to their child from an early age to prepare them for school success.
“Reading with your children is a fun, family activity that helps young learners develop the language skills they need to succeed in kindergarten and throughout their entire school career. I applaud Reach Out and Read Oklahoma and I encourage all parents to spend as much time as they can reading with their young children,” Fallin said.
After reading a proclamation (click here to view the proclamation), Gov. Fallin read “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss to a group of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students from St. John Christian Academy.
Neuroscientists report that 90 percent of brain development occurs before a child enters kindergarten, and 30 percent of Oklahoma’s kindergarten students are not performing at the kindergarten grade level.
Reach Out and Read Oklahoma is a nonprofit organization that promotes early childhood literacy and encourages families to read together to help the child build basic language skills that will prepare them to learn how to read before they reach kindergarten.
“A child’s brain develops a tremendous amount throughout the first five years of their lives, and it is our responsibility as adults to prepare our children and give them the tools they will need to succeed,” said Steven Davis, senior state director of Reach Out and Read Oklahoma. “It is our goal that by increasing awareness of early literacy in the state, more children will perform at or above grade level and will continue to thrive through school and into their adult lives.”
In celebration of the proclamation, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb will read to a group of young children at OU Children's Physicians Building Wednesday morning.
“It is my honor to participate in Early Childhood Awareness Week,” Lamb said. “It is very important that we teach the young children of Oklahoma the importance of literacy and how it can have a positive influence in their everyday lives. I look forward to reading to these children, and I encourage parents all across Oklahoma to read to their children tonight before bed.”
About Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based, national nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness by giving new books to children and advice to parents at regular pediatric checkups. The program allows children to take home a new, age-appropriate book after every checkup from 6 months through 5 years. For more information on Reach Out and Read Oklahoma, visit www.reachoutandreadok.org