RACINE, Wis., Oct. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Racine Public Library, SC Johnson and other community partners today announced a comprehensive program to inspire the community to read more. Racine Reads: Dream Big! will challenge more than 10,000 elementary school students in nearly 500 public, private and parochial classrooms across Racine to read one million books during the 2011-2012 school year. The program will include a number of incentives to keep students reading ranging from pizza parties to iPads and a library makeover valued at $100,000 for the school that reads the most books per child.
"We're thrilled to support this program as reading is a critical and basic skill that must be a part of every child's elementary education," said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. "Reading opens the world to children and lays the foundation for future educational success and we want to ignite the community to rally around our children to help them reach this monumental goal."
Reading is a fundamental skill that impacts children throughout their lives. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), fourth graders who reported having 25 books or more at home had higher scores on reading tests than children who said they didn't have that many books(1). NCES also 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.
"We are encouraging every Racine child to read more, and improving literacy during the elementary school years will help them achieve greater accomplishments in the future," said Racine Mayor John Dickert. "We are leading our children down a positive path to success. This program stands out not only because the goal is lofty, but also because we are expecting strong support and participation from families and the community as well. This program has the potential to set Racine apart and serve as a model for literacy programs in other communities."
Other partners include: City of Racine, Racine elementary schools, the Racine Civic Centre, Racine Literacy Council, Family Literacy of Racine, Cops 'N Kids and Girls Inc.
Chapter One: The Program
Racine Reads: Dream Big! is challenging Racine's kindergarten through 5th grade students to keep reading throughout the school year with lots of exciting incentives along the way. Rewards ranging from pizza parties to iPads will be given to classes based on the number of books read per student. Ultimately, the school that reads the most books will win a library makeover valued at $100,000.
Teachers will track totals via the web site www.racinereads.org, and community members will be able to check in for updates there as well. In addition, community members can become a fan of Racine Reads: Dream Big! on Facebook. The Library's bookmobile will be wrapped with a special Racine Reads message including the official "book-o-meter" that will track the community's overall progress. SC Johnson is underwriting the program.
Chapter Two: October's Events
Part of the program is to bring reading to life across different mediums. To do this, two events are planned for October.
The Max and Ruby Show, October 4 and 5:
Max and Ruby are beloved sibling bunnies that share adventures in each book. All Racine children in kindergarten through 2nd grade will have the opportunity to see this exciting live show on stage at Racine's Downtown Memorial Hall.
Charlotte's Web, October 3, 6, 7 and 10:
Charlotte's Web is an award-winning children's novel about a pig named Wilbur who is spared from slaughter by an intelligent spider named Charlotte. This family favorite will be performed for all students in grades three to five at the Golden Rondelle Theatre located on the SC Johnson campus.
"We believe that exposing children to theatrical productions of their favorite books helps foster a love of reading and gives them the motivation and the impetus to keep reading," said Sandy Riekoff, President of the Racine Public Library Foundation. "Programs like this help bring books to life for the children. Giving them access to other interpretations and renditions of their favorite books challenges kids to think about books and stories from different perspectives."
Chapter Three: Coming Soon
The program has been developed to provide excitement and activity each month during the school year. Beginning in November, students, teachers, parents and the Racine community can look forward to a variety of fun and engaging events around reading. More details will be forthcoming as the events approach, but highlights include:
- School assemblies to inspire kids and keep the momentum going as they move toward the one million book goal
- Book readings by visiting authors in Racine schools
- Parent book clubs with authors hosted at the Golden Rondelle on SC Johnson's campus
- The annual Cops 'N Kids book giveaway
- One Book/One School program
- Read Across America/Dr. Seuss Day
- Battle of the Books
- Victory celebration
Check for progress updates and more details on the program and incentives on the Racine Reads: Dream Big! website at www.racinereads.org
ABOUT RACINE PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION
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-owned and managed business 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 and pest control. 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 125-year-old company, that generates $9 billion in sales, employs approximately 12,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com
ABOUT THE CITY OF RACINE
Located in Southeastern Wisconsin on Lake Michigan and along the Root River, Racine lies right in the heart of the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor. Founded in 1834 and incorporated fourteen years later, Racine acted as an important hub for industrial growth for decades. The City is home to approximately 80,000 residents, making it the 5th largest city in Wisconsin. Our community is as diverse as our story, with companies like SC Johnson, Twin Disc and Modine, Racine has a deep history in the business and manufacturing community. Racine is also the home of many buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, sculptures by Carl Milles and the Racine Art Museum (RAM), which has one of the most significant collections of contemporary craft in North America. Our beach is one of the best in the world and is continuously recognized for the work done and the quality of our water. Most recently the US Conference of Mayors recognized Racine as having the best drinking water in the country.
ABOUT COPS 'N KIDS
The primary objective of Cops 'N Kids is to improve the reading skills of at-risk children by introducing them to the adventure and creativity that is received from reading. The center is intended to assist children in their exploration while guiding them toward reading skills development and subsequently how to apply the acquired skills to other academic and personal pursuits.
ABOUT FAMILY LITERACY OF RACINE
Family Literacy of Racine is a social service/education non-profit providing multiple programs/services for City of Racine families. Its mission is: "Investing in Family and Community: Read, Lead, Learn, Succeed!" Its family literacy program provides English as a 2nd Language classes, Pre-GED, and GED classes for adults; afterschool programming for children 6-14, and a preschool for children 0-6. Through the Family Smart/Kid Friendly Collaboration, home visitation/parenting education are available to at-risk families, as well as parent education classes to high risk families. A third program, Girls Inc., provides empowerment classes to girls 6-18 years old, through afterschool programming at 5 RUSD grade schools and 2 middle schools. Family Literacy's goal is to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty through comprehensive, integrated family education services.
ABOUT GIRLS INC.
Girls Incorporated is a national non-profit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. With roots dating to 1864, Girls Inc. has provided vital educational programs to millions of American girls, particularly those in high-risk, under-served areas. Today, innovative programs help girls confront subtle societal messages about their value and potential, and prepare them to lead successful, independent, and fulfilling lives.
ABOUT RACINE LITERACY COUNCIL
The Racine Literacy Council is a volunteer-based organization that provides adult literacy programs in Racine County and works to bring awareness to the community about the importance and impact of literacy. Their primary focus is working with adults who want to learn English as a second language and/or to improve literacy skills.
ABOUT RACINE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
With approximately 21,000 students, Racine Unified School District (RUSD) is the fourth largest school district in the state of Wisconsin. RUSD has 21 elementary schools including three magnet elementary schools, seven middle schools including two magnet and one charter middle school, and six high schools including one magnet and one charter high school. RUSD provides students rigorous academics and strong programming in the fine arts, foreign language, school-to-career, physical education, technology and other electives. The District also offers virtual learning opportunities for middle and high school students. The District is proud of the success that it creates for all of the students they serve, and proud of its mission to educate every student to succeed.
(1)National Center for Educational Statistics, 2003
SOURCE SC Johnson