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Saturday, 15 September, 2007 11:43 AM

Governor Granholm Proclaims September as Michigan Reads to Children Month

LANSING, Mich. -- Governor Jennifer M. Granholm recently proclaimed September as Michigan Reads to Children Month, encouraging parents, grandparents, siblings and caregivers across the state to take an active part in the Library of Michigan's one-state, one-children's- book program, Michigan Reads!, featuring the book "Big Chickens" written by Michigan author Leslie Helakoski and illustrated by Henry Cole.

"Big Chickens" follows four timid chickens on a humorous romp through the woods, as they manage to overcome obstacles and ultimately conquer their fears.

"One of the very best gifts we can give our children is a love of reading," Granholm said. "Reading inspires the imagination, feeds the soul, and strengthens the mind."

The Michigan Reads to Children Month proclamation can be viewed online at http://www.michigan.gov/gov/0,1607,7-168-23442_25488-175545--,00.html.

"We're thrilled to see how the Michigan Reads! program has grown and evolved to turn even more people onto the joy and excitement of helping Michigan's young children discover the endless possibilities of reading," said State Librarian Nancy Robertson.

"Because of the committed support this year from Target and the Library of Michigan Foundation," Robertson added, "the Library of Michigan was able to provide books, program guides, literacy resources and so much more to 5,000 public libraries, elementary schools, Head Start and Michigan School Readiness programs. Their phenomenal commitment has given a real boost to our state's literacy efforts!"

In addition to the individual programming taking place at libraries and schools, author Leslie Helakoski has a full schedule of stops throughout September at schools and libraries in Allendale, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Haslett, Lansing, Portage, Sault Ste. Marie and Traverse City.

For the schedule details and more information about how to participate in Michigan Reads!, visit http://www.michigan.gov/michiganreads.

Robertson noted that the 2007 Michigan Reads! program coincides nicely with back-to-school time, as well as National Library Card Sign-up Month, also happening in September.

"Libraries are key to the success of literacy efforts, including Michigan Reads!" Robertson said. "For families who have maybe never visited the local library, September -- with its family-friendly programming centered around Michigan Reads! and library card sign-up -- is a terrific time to see the wonderful educational and community opportunities afforded at Michigan libraries."

Michigan Reads! began in 2004 as a new approach to the community-wide, "one book" programs gaining popularity throughout the country. While most of these efforts focus on adults, Michigan Reads! is unique in that it features a book that young children will enjoy, encouraging parents, grandparents, caregivers, older siblings and volunteers to read to their younger family members.

The program aims to promote the value and benefits of reading early and often to children, to encourage family bonding through reading and to increase awareness and usage of Michigan's libraries as excellent resources for learning. Since 2004, the Michigan Reads! program has evolved and now, with the help of the Michigan Department of Education, the 2007 program reaches out to include children through second grade in schools statewide.

The Library of Michigan is part of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries. Dedicated to enriching quality of life and strengthening the economy by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan's heritage and fostering cultural creativity, the department also includes the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Michigan Film Office and the Michigan Historical Center. For more information, visit http://www.michigan.gov/hal.

Source: Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries

 

 

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