Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayor Creates Exclusive Club -- for Young Readers; Group Is Part of His Ongoing Plan to Encourage Literacy

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayor Creates Exclusive Club -- for Young Readers; Group Is Part of His Ongoing Plan to Encourage Literacy

Article excerpt

Byline: MARY KELLI PALKA, The Times-Union

Move over Harry Potter. Watch out Oprah.

Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton's book club for kids officially will get started Saturday, and Peyton himself makes an appearance in the first 16-page book handed out to local children.

Peyton is scheduled to visit five branch libraries between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday in hopes of signing up every 4-year-old child in Duval County for the Mayor's Book Club. It's the highest profile portion of Peyton's literacy campaign to help children learn to read at an earlier age. He's pledged to spend $10 million, including $3 million from the state, during the next three years on the effort, which also includes training child-care providers to teach children to read.

The literacy plan also includes opening six pilot child-care centers at which to test strategies on how better to prepare children for school.

In addition to joining the book club Saturday, children and their families can participate in activities such as storytelling and face painting. Each 4-year-old child will receive a backpack filled with various marketing items, including crayons, a blanket, stickers and a T-shirt.

The city hopes to sign up 10,000 children for the club, said Susie Wiles, Peyton's chief of special initiatives and communications. She said another RALLY Jacksonville event will be held soon, but details weren't yet available.

The first book, titled I Can Read!, was written by local author Fran Peacock Coker and illustrated by Ethan Long of the Orlando area. The book mentions some of Jacksonville's features, including its bridges, zoo and football team. It also introduces two characters, Nigel and Madeline, who will appear in future books. In the initial book, Nigel and Madeline talk about learning to read and other fun activities they do in school. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.