Gov. John Hickenlooper and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia kicked off Colorado Literacy Week 2013 with a celebration at the main branch of the Denver Public Library, unveiling the selection of this year’s One Book 4 Colorado (OB4C) book selection – Duck on a Bike, by David Shannon – to thunderous applause from over 80 pre-schoolers. Hickenlooper, Garcia and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock each shared the stage in reading a portion of the book aloud to the children, parents, teachers and literacy advocates that participated in the morning’s festivities.
From Denver, Lt. Gov. Garcia motored northeast with his first stop at Ayres Elementary in Sterling to celebrate the work of Colorado’s Book Trust. Sterling Schools’ Assistant Superintendent Ron Marostica was among the hosts thanking teachers, parents and students for their dedication to early literacy. Garcia continued reading aloud to a lively kindergarten class who put their own stamp on the animal sounds necessary for a full reading.
“The key to literacy is participation,” said Garcia. “We saw in Denver and Sterling that the dedication of parents, teachers, administrators and community members is what makes the difference in teaching kids to read.”
Garcia then visited the Sterling Public Library to engage in a community conversation with parents and pre-schoolers at a launch of the One Book 4 Colorado program to children in Northeast Colorado. As he walked in the door, Garcia was greeted immediately by a four year old girl exclaiming “I want books!”
“Music to our ears,” Garcia said. “We want every four year old in the state saying they can’t wait to read.”
A visit to the Ft. Morgan McDonald’s restaurant highlighted the statewide support from McDonald’s for the OB4C program with 30 kids from the Sherman Elementary School and the Family Childcare Providers Network hearing Garcia again read from Duck on a Bike. The children not only received the gift of a book but also healthy Happy Meals.
“A double bonus,” Garcia said, noting that he himself worked at a McDonald’s as a young person. “Literacy and nutrition go hand in hand as the keys to individual growth and health,” Garcia said. “A healthy economy starts with a well-educated workforce, and that begins with literacy.”
For the latest Literacy Week news follow @LtGovGarcia on twitter and search for #OB4CO #CoLitWeek2013 or friend Lt. Governor Joe Garcia on Facebook. For schedule updates visit http://www.colorado.gov/ltgovernor