Kentucky’s First Lady Jane Beshear celebrated literacy Monday with a party of sorts at Carr Elementary School. Mrs. Beshear was in Fulton on the first day of the fourth annual Kentucky Literacy Celebration week.
Touting the importance of literacy, the former teacher quizzed the students on the meaning of the word. A primary student answered that literacy meant reading and writing. Mrs. Beshear applauded the student’s knowledge before adding a third dimension to the word – comprehension.
“If you can’t read, it’s a pretty boring world because you don’t get to do anything,” the First Lady told the Carr students, Fulton city officials and other special guests. “So what we want to do is talk about how fun it is to read.”
Reminding the students that summer break is just around the corner in the school year, Mrs. Beshear challenged them to read at least 10 books during the time they’re out of school.
In addition to talking with the students about the importance of reading, Mrs. Beshear helped hand out some special reading-related awards to Carr students. A list of these awards will be posted on the website soon.
The Carr Choir added a musical touch to the celebration by singing Katy Perry's recent hit "Roar." And since it's really not a party without gifts, Mrs. Beshear was presented with some specially-made flowers from the Carr third grade classes and a basket filled with Bulldog items from Fulton Independent staff members and Fulton community and business members.
Carr was just one stop of several Mrs. Beshear will be making this week while canvassing the state during Kentucky Literacy Celebration Week.
According to a press release, the Kentucky Literacy Celebration was created by the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development (CCLD) and First Lady Jane Beshear. Established by legislation in 1998, CCLD’s mission is to promote literacy and address the diverse needs of all learners through professional development for Kentucky educators and research that informs policy and practice. The celebration intends to highlight literacy in Kentucky, celebrate the accomplishments and focus on the challenges we still face as a state.
“Our Commonwealth has made great strides in recent years,” said Mrs. Beshear. “However, we still have a long way to go to increase literacy at all levels and must work on both state and local levels to promote literacy not only as an education tool, but to stay competitive in the 21st century workforce.”
The press release also stated Governor Steve Beshear shared the relationship between literacy and the economy. “Each year, illiteracy costs U.S. businesses $225 billion in lost productivity. In Kentucky, we’re making the effort to improve the statistics and boost literacy levels across the state by putting an emphasis on increased reading in early childhood, elementary and secondary education and for adults.”
Additional Kentucky Literacy Celebration partners include the Kentucky Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts, Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives, Kentucky Education Association, and the Kentucky Reading Association.