Wooden Announces Reading Program And Book Donation
By Andy Hart
June 27, 2013
Joined by educators, community leaders, and students, Council President Shawn T. Wooden recently announced the 2013 Council President's Summer Reading Challenge and, in partnership with Rosen Publishing and Mi Casa, gave away thousands of books to first and second grade students in Hartford. The initiative, launched at Jumoke Academy Honors at Milner, is designed to promote early literacy and encourage kids to read during the summer months.
Following remarks by several community leaders and educators, Roger Rosen of Rosen Publishing announced that 7,600 books, valued at $150,000, were being donated to Hartford students. Each first and second grade student was given two to keep for their personal libraries.
"This was such an exciting event. Days like this remind me of why I ran for public office," said Wooden. "These kids and their enthusiasm for learning should give anyone boundless optimism about Hartford's future. They are the reason why our best days are still to come."
Richard Gruber of Mi Casa added, "We are very pleased to be part of this partnership. The donated books will be used as part of our summer reading program and will help our youth maintain their reading skills and be better prepared for the start of school at the end of August.”
Wooden also announced his 2013 Council President's Summer Reading Challenge, in which each rising third grader across the city was challenged to write a paragraph describing why summer reading is important. The winner – who will be announced in early September – will receive a Kindle e-reader and will have the opportunity to serve as "Council President for the Day" this fall.
"Reading will equip Hartford's next generation to lead our community and move our city forward. So why not give one dedicated reader a head start?" Wooden said of the Council President for the Day award.
Other participants in the kickoff were Board of Education Chairman and Hartford Public Library CEO Matthew Poland, and Dolores Cole and Dr. Beryl Bailey of the Hartford Public Schools Office of Early Literacy and Parent Engagement. Former Mayor Thirman L. Milner read a book to the students, and Dr. Michael Sharpe engaged the students in a discussion about the importance of reading and the important role it played in the careers of community leaders like Wooden and Milner.