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PBS TO LAUNCH NATIONWIDE CAMPAIGN TO
PROMOTE READING TO CHILDREN
LAURA BUSH TO BE HONORARY CHAIRPERSON OF
PBS DESIGNATED READER CAMPAIGN
Washington, D.C, April 3, 2002 - PBS PBS today announced that it will launch a comprehensive national public service campaign to promote children's literacy. The PBS Designated Reader initiative will help millions of children become better readers by inspiring adults to read aloud to them every day. Laura Bush has agreed to serve as Honorary Chairperson of the campaign. PBS will marshal its local member stations, its award-winning on-air and online children's programming, and its national and local partnerships to execute this initiative.
"PBS is proud that Mrs. Bush will support this campaign to uplift every
child through the priceless gift of reading," said Pat Mitchell, president and
CEO of PBS. "I can
think of no better voice to call on all Americans to change a life by reading
to a child."
Research shows that children who are read to daily from infancy are
more likely to become successful readers and students than children who are
denied this rich experience. However, many adults are not taking advantage of
this powerful tool to help a child get ready to read.
PBS, its local stations, and Mrs. Bush have long encouraged parents to
enjoy the rewards of reading to their children. But to support parents, and
those with few books or limited literacy, other caring adults may also become a
child's "reader of the day," or designated reader. The goal of the campaign is
to ensure that every child has a designated reader every day.
The PBS Designated Reader campaign also aims to:
- Raise public awareness of the importance of reading
- Inspire millions of adults to read aloud to
- Offer grassroots activities that encourage more
adults to become designated readers.
- Mobilize a national coalition of literacy,
education, and youth groups.
The nearly 140 local PBS stations participating in the PBS Ready To Learn service will form the grassroots
infrastructure of the campaign. Ready To Learn is
funded by the U.S. Department of Education to harness the power of public
television to promote early learning.
The PBS Designated
Reader campaign builds on a strong
foundation established by the PBS KIDS® series BETWEEN THE LIONS, created by WGBH Boston and Sirius
Thinking, Ltd. Since its debut in 2000, BETWEEN THE LIONS has promoted the Designated Reader concept through storylines and public
service announcements at the end of each episode.
PBS will deliver the Designated Reader message through multiple
- PBS will broadcast public service messages via its
- PBS programs will feature designated readers.
- PBS and local PBS stations will offer tips,
resources, and events to encourage reading.
- PBS will recruit local role models and celebrity
- Local and national promotional partners will echo
- Coalition partners will amplify the message to
Reader coalition partners will bring
extraordinary access to libraries, schools, community-based youth and family
support programs, and many other venues to deliver this important message.
# # #
Celebrities who have taped Designated Reader
public service announcements for BETWEEN THE LIONS include: Al Roker, Larry
King, Kelly Ripa, Jon Stewart, Sigourney Weaver, and Vanessa Williams.
many Members of Congress have already participated in Designated Reader public
service announcements that have aired on their local PBS stations. These
members include: Senator Jean Carnahan (D- MO); Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS); Senator
Michael Crapo (R-ID); Senator John Edwards (D-NC); Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA); Senator
James Jeffords (I-VT); Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA); Senator Patty Murray
(D-WA); Senator Jack Reed (D-RI); Senator Harry Reid (D-NV); Senator George
Voinovich (R-OH); Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN); and Representative Anne Northrup (R-KY).
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 90 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org
Kevin Dando, PBS