DALLAS (May 14, 2013) – Summer vacation may be on the horizon, but that doesn’t mean kids should bid goodbye to reading. Why? Regular reading keeps academic skills sharp, inspires curiosity, enhances comprehension and vocabulary, and best of all, puts in place the habit for young people to become lifelong readers and learners.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (l.) and SMU President R. Gerald Turner join students from DISD’s Louise Wolff Kahn and Cesar Chavez Elementary Schools “Ponied Up” for reading at the kick-off of the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club.
In an effort to encourage the whole family to read, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings made those points today as he kicked off the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club, an eight-week program powered by community participation, weekly incentive prizes and all-around fun from June 15 - August 10.
“For the first time ever, the summer reading program has been expanded to include adults,” said Mayor Rawlings. “This is important because parents and adult family members who read will set a good example so that children learn to love reading. Plus families who read together are more likely to continue reading throughout their lives.”
Presented by Walmart and Sam’s Club, the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club is free and open to all ages. Sign up begins May 19 online at dallaslibrary.org or in person at any of 29 Dallas library branches.
At the news conference held in the Children’s Center at the J. Erik Jonsson Dallas Central Library, Mayor Rawlings also read from one of his favorite books, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, to Dallas ISD students from Louise Wolff Kahn and Cesar Chavez elementary schools.
Also delivering remarks in support of the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club were Mike Hart, market manager, Walmart; Kent Eastman, Dallas market president, Capital One Bank; Dr. Gerald Turner, president, SMU; Regina Moldovan, chief marketing officer, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas; Dora Morón, language and literacy executive director at Dallas ISD; and Mary Jo Giudice, director, Dallas Public Library. Students from the Sidney Lanier Elementary Vanguard for the Expressive Arts School provided musical entertainment.
Mayor Rawlings also announced plans for an online book drive where people can donate to provide free books to children who are Club members, noting that a $10 gift will buy two books. He thanked TXU, Texas Instruments, Alliance Data, First Southwest and Eastfield Community College for already donating thousands of books to the drive.
For more than 40 years, the Dallas Public Library’s summer reading program has encouraged kids to read during the summer months. In 1997, the program became known as the Mayor’s Summer Reading Program and has since served over 230,000 children. This year, two big changes will paint a whole new look for the summertime program. First, the program takes on a new name - the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club. Secondly, because kids follow the example set by parents and family members, the Reading Club becomes a family affair that’s fun for all ages.
Each week, participating young club members will have a chance to win an incentive prize by reporting what they read to any Dallas Public Library location. Children 7 and older are asked to read at least five hours per week, and children 6 and under are required to read three hours, whether reading with help or being read to, per week to earn a weekly prize. Two of the weekly prizes will include a new book for Reading Club participants up to 18 years of age. All readers may report any reading material including books, e-books, audiobooks and magazines.
There is one grand-prize drawing for children and two grand-prize drawings for adult participants in the program. With a “write, create, participate” focus, entries into the grand-prize drawings for the four 18-and-under age-group categories can be earned by reading extra hours, attending library events, writing book reviews, or illustrating book characters, to name a few. Adults will earn entries by logging their reading.
Weekly incentive prizes include tickets to the Dallas Children’s Theater, SMU Meadows Museum, Nasher Sculpture Center, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the Texas Rangers; food freebies at Auntie Anne’s pretzels, Del Taco, Spaghetti Warehouse, Purple Cow and Benihana; plus earbuds, books, pencils, totes and more.
Grand prizes include four-pack tickets to area attractions such as the Dallas Opera, Dallas Summer Musicals, Dallas Theater Center, Gexa Energy Pavilion show, Kitchen Dog Theater, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Six Flags Over Texas, and Theater Three, Inc.; gift certificates to El Fenix, Hibiscus, Magic Time Machine, Place at Perry’s, Spaghetti Warehouse, Maggiano’s Little Italy – NorthPark, Chuy’s Restaurants, Speed Zone and Terilli’s Grill; and passes to Exposure Indoor Rock Climbing, Gexa Energy Pavilion, Medieval Times Dallas, Nasher Sculpture Center and the State Fair of Texas. Other grand-prize goodies include World Vision digital cameras, DVD player and backpacks; James Avery jewelry; free tax returns at H&R Block; and one-night stays at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas and the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center.
The Mayor’s Summer Reading Club is a collaborative effort between the City of Dallas Mayor’s Office, the Dallas Public Library, Dallas ISD and dozens of community sponsors and donors.
Presenting sponsors are Walmart and Sam’s Club. Program sponsors are Action Metals, Capital One Bank, Dallas Mavericks, Darling International, Fast Signs, Goldman Sachs, Mary Kay Cosmetics, SMU, and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Donors include Susie and John L. Adams, Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge, Café Pacific, Linda and Mitch Hart, Fred Hegi, Al G. Hill, Jr., Bobby B. Lyle, Erle Nye, Peter O’Donnell, Jr., Omni Hotels & Resorts, Aileen and Jack Pratt Foundation, Margot and Ross Perot, Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Deedie and Rusty Rose, Marianne and Roger Staubach, Sewell Automotive Companies, and Mary and Mike Terry.
Media partners are Fox 4 and My 27, Univision 23, K104, Smooth R&B 105.7, La Que Buena 94.1, Maxima 99.1, The Dallas Morning News, Al Dia and The Greensheet.
Kick-off celebrations will be held Saturday, June 15, at eight Dallas Library branches – Timberglen, Bachman Lake, White Rock Hills and Polk Wisdom from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., and Central Children’s Center, North Oak Cliff, Prairie Creek and Bookmarks at NorthPark from 2 - 4 p.m.
To sign up or learn more, go to dallaslibrary.org or call 214-670-1671.
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