First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Jane Beshear Joins Thousands of Central Kentucky Fourth-Graders to Kick-off Literacy Celebration Week
Announces schedule for Literacy Celebration Week
LEXINGTON, Ky. – First Lady Jane Beshear today joined more than 4,000 fourth-graders from across Central Kentucky for the inaugural “Feed the Mind - Kentucky” event at Rupp Arena to celebrate and promote reading and literacy throughout the Commonwealth. The event kicks-off Kentucky’s Third Annual Literacy Celebration Week, March 4-8.
“As a former teacher, I have seen firsthand how valuable the love of reading can be in a child’s success in school and later in life,” said Mrs. Beshear. “In the Commonwealth, we are reinforcing the importance of reading and literacy for our children through programs and events such as the Literacy Celebration Week. This week is not only a time to celebrate the joy of reading, but it also helps Kentuckians to focus our efforts on improving literacy on all levels.”
Students from 59 schools in 15 counties throughout the Bluegrass attended today’s first “Feed the Mind - Kentucky” event. The celebration featured Kentucky storyteller Octavia Sexton and book readings by Kentucky authors Judith Halasack and Peggy Cullen. Students also enjoyed games and prizes and a performance from the University of Kentucky cheerleading squad.
Each student at the event received a free book and lunch provided by Arby’s. Scholastic donated 500 books and the remainder of the donation was sponsored by Arby’s Lexington Co-Op.
The Arby’s Foundation is donating an additional $25,000 to the participating schools for their weekend backpack programs. Schools offer weekend backpack programs typically for students who are fed during the week with the help of federal government programs. Sending disadvantaged students home over the weekend with backpacks full of food helps ensure that they are staying nourished with nutritional foods while not in school.
“Arby’s is thrilled to support Kentucky’s Feed the Mind event by providing our healthy kids meal and donating $25,000 to the participating schools’ weekend backpack feeding programs,” said Hala Moddelmog, president of Arby’s. “At Arby's, we are working together to end childhood hunger in America, because every child deserves to learn, play and grow. I would like to thank First Lady Jane Beshear for her dedication to the children of Kentucky and allowing Arby’s to be a part of this incredible occasion. This event highlights the importance of healthy eating to fuel the mind.”
Other sponsors for today’s event include Sheehy + Associates, WLEX and Pepsi.
The “Feed the Mind – Kentucky” celebration represents the evolution of a smaller annual event, “Read Pulaski County,” that was started in 2011 by the non-profit organization Forward in the Fifth, the Center for Rural Development and local Somerset businessman Chuck Coldiron.
The Kentucky Literacy Celebration is a joint effort by Collaborative Center for Literacy Development (CCLD), the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the Office of the First Lady Jane Beshear. The celebration’s goal is to highlight the importance of literacy for Kentuckians of all ages, promote reading, celebrate literacy accomplishments and focus on the challenges we still face as a state.
“Well developed language and literacy skills are the bridges to a meaningful life. Reading trains the mind, enhances the spirit, and empowers the imagination,” said Dr. George G. Hruby, executive director of CCLD. “If you want to expand your potential to succeed, expand your skills with the written and spoken word.”
Many literacy events, such as family reading days, will take place in communities throughout Kentucky as part of the Literacy Celebration. Mrs. Beshear will travel the state next week to visit schools, adult education centers, and libraries to promote reading education and learn about community literacy programs.
Mrs. Beshear’s Literacy Celebration schedule includes:
*All times listed are local.
Monday, March 4
- Bowling Green
- 9 a.m.– Visit: Western Kentucky University, 1906 College Heights Boulevard, Bowling Green
- 10:50 a.m.– Visit: Ace Square Adult Literacy Center, Square Mall, 401 Madison Square Drive, Madisonville
- Noon – Ribbon Cutting for the “Little Libraries” program – Old Courthouse, Corner of Main Street and Center Street, Madisonville
- 12:30 p.m.– Lunch: Hopkins County Board of Education, 320 South Seminary Street, Madisonville
- Noon – Visit/Lunch: Hopkins County Board of Education, 320 South Seminary Street, Hopkinsville
- 2:15 p.m.-- Visit: Early Childhood Council at Henderson Community College, 2660 South Green Street, Henderson
Tuesday, March 5
- 9:15 a.m. -- Visit: Owingsville Elementary, 50 Chenault Drive, Owingsville
- 10:20 a.m.-- Visit: Bath County Memorial Library, 24 West Main Street, Owingsville
- 11:20 a.m.-- Visit: Morehead State University, 150 University Boulevard, Morehead
- 12:25 p.m. – Visit: MSU ALC/Rowan County Adult Education Center, 316 Main Street, Morehead
Wednesday, March 6
- 9 a.m. -- Visit: National Center for Family Literacy, Waterfront Plaza, Suite 300, 325 W. Main Street, Louisville
- 10:15 a.m. -- Visit: Westport Middle School and Public Library, 8100 Westport Road, Louisville
- 11:45 a.m. -- Visit: Kentucky State University, 400 East Main Street, Frankfort
Thursday, March 7
- 9 a.m.-- Visit: Woodford County High School, 180 Frankfort Street, Versailles
- 11 a.m.-- Visit: Eastern Kentucky University, Cobb Library, 577 University Drive, Richmond
- 12:30 p.m. -- Visit: Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative, 2331 Fortune Drive, Suite 110, Lexington
- 4 p.m. -- Visit: Lexington Public Library Village Branch, 2185 Versailles Road, Lexington
- 5 p.m. -- Dixie Elementary Family Literacy Night, Sales Pavilion, Keeneland
Friday, March 8
- 9:30 a.m. -- Visit: Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative/Hazard Community and Technical College, 1 Community College Drive, Jolly Classroom Building, Suite 107, Hazard
- 10:45 a.m. – Visit: LKLP Head Start/RIF Reading Site, 277 Roy Campbell Drive, Hazard
- Noon -- Visit: Leslie County High School, 25 Eagle Lane, Hyden
About the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development
Established by legislation in 1998, the CCLD’s mission is to promote literacy and address the diverse needs of all learners through professional development for Kentucky educators and research that informs policy and practice.
To learn more about the CCLD and Kentucky Literacy Celebration and events, please visit http://www.kentuckyliteracy.org/.