Racine Public Library Honors SC Johnson as a Champion of Literacy

Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson Named "Friend of the Library" for Encouraging Racine Children to Read Nearly Two Million Books

May 17, 2013, 10:51 ET from SC Johnson

RACINE, Wis., May 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, the Racine Public Library named Fisk Johnson, SC Johnson's Chairman and CEO, "Friend of the Library," their highest honor. Johnson received the award for sponsoring the Racine Reads: Dream Big!  program during the 2011-2012 school year which challenged 10,000 local elementary school students to read one million books during the school year – an average of 100 books per child. Students rose to the challenge, by more than quadrupling the national average, by reading 180 books per student and 1.8 million books in total. 

"The Racine Reads program is especially meaningful because of the way students, teachers and community members came together to embrace the challenge and achieve their goal," said Johnson. "We know that literacy is the foundation for educational success and the Library was a driving force behind the program's achievements. It was an honor to partner with them to bring such an impactful and memorable program to the community and inspire Racine's elementary students."

The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) reports that one child in four grows up not knowing how to read. Communities across the nation are challenged to keep kids interested in learning and Racine is no different. Racine Reads: Dream Big! was developed as a holistic approach to literacy advancement. Children in the community were surrounded by reading in all aspects of their lives, from the classroom where teachers and principals were given program tool kits, to the community as a whole through author visits, live performances and readings and volunteer opportunities.

"The Racine Reads program is a tremendous success that continues to introduce creative and exciting ways to encourage our community's youngest students to become better readers," said Jessica MacPhail, Director of the Racine Public Library. "It is a privilege to honor Fisk Johnson as a Friend of the Library and look forward to our continued partnership." 

Response to Racine Reads: Dream Big! was overwhelming; highlights include:

  • More than 85 percent of classrooms in Racine participated in the program
  • All 36 Racine private, parochial and public schools participated in the program
  • Average books read per student: 180
  • More than 8,900 books read per day during the program
  • Racine Reads: Dream Big! donated more than 10,000 books to elementary students and school libraries throughout the program
  • More than 125 million pages read

The Friend of the Library Award is given to a citizen, organization or institution that has promoted the work and mission of the Racine Public Library. For the past several decades, the Friends of the Library have helped support programming and other library goals, such as pursuing innovative projects, though annual book sales.

About Racine Reads: Dream Big!
The program reached more than 10,000 elementary school students in nearly 500 public, private and parochial classrooms across Racine. Racine Reads: Dream Big! was sponsored by SC Johnson and is a partnership with the Racine Public Library, the City of Racine, Racine Elementary Schools, the Racine Civic Centre, Racine Literacy Council, Family Literacy of Racine, Cops 'N Kids, and Girls Inc.

The $100,000 grand prize library makeover was awarded to Wadewitz Elementary School. Runners-up, Trinity Lutheran and Mount Pleasant Renaissance each received $25,000 and individual classroom prizes were also given to Roosevelt, John Paul II Academy, and Jerstad-Agerholm Elementary, who received iPads, Kindles and gift cards, respectively. 

The mission of the Racine Public Library Foundation is to support the future well-being of the Racine Public Library. The Foundation has a long-term vision of creating an endowment that will generate sufficient income to support library projects and services. The purpose of the Racine Public Library Foundation is to make citizens aware of how to donate funds and make bequests. The Foundation also may apply for grants.

About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR. MUSCLE®, and RIDSECT®. The 127-year-old company, that generates $9 billion in sales, employs nearly 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com  



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