FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 5, 2012) — Governor Steve Beshear kicked off the Commonwealth’s second-annual Kentucky Literacy Celebration Friday by proclaiming March 5-9 as Kentucky Literacy Celebration Week. The celebration will involve several statewide events focused on improving literacy levels for all Kentuckians.
"Each year, illiteracy costs U.S. businesses $225 billion in lost productivity," Governor Beshear said. "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."
The Kentucky Literacy Celebration was created by the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development, based in the University of Kentucky College of Education, and First Lady Jane Beshear. Established by legislation in 1998, the 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 Kentucky still faces.
"Our commonwealth has made great strides in recent years, being the only state to show significant statistical improvement amongst 4th and 8th grade readers in a both the 2007 and 2009 National Assessment for Education," 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."
Many literacy events, such as family reading days, will be taking place in communities throughout Kentucky as part the Literacy Celebration. Mrs. Beshear will also travel the state this week to visit a number of schools, adult education centers, and libraries to promote reading education and learn about community literacy programs.
Mrs. Beshear will visit several cities, including Versailles, Nicholasville, Murray, Somerset, Florence and London during Literacy week. To view her complete schedule, please visit http://www.kentuckyliteracy.org/sites/ccldzen/files/klc/KLC_FL_visits.pdf.
To learn more about the Kentucky Literacy Celebration and events, please visit http://www.kentuckyliteracy.org/celebrate2012.
UK MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Wells; (859) 257-5343; Jenny.Wells@uky.edu