THE LITERACY COALITION OF PALM BEACH COUNTY
Boynton Beach, Florida
Tell Our Story – Summer Learning
Palm Beach County has joined together to create a public education campaign that encourages reading at every turn – at home, in school and in the community. The campaign's theme is “My Happily Ever After Begins with Reading,” and it features community reading events, book fairs, billboards, brochures, and a new website! The Campaign was created by the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County and the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, in partnership with the Palm Beach County School District. Other partners, including county and municipal libraries and the local newspaper, The Palm Beach Post, also contributed.
Because research shows that children are more likely to read a book if they choose it themselves, the September 23rd kickoff event for the campaign introduced kids to Happily Ever After book fairs. These fairs were held at all of the public elementary schools in Palm Beach County, allowing all 80,000+ children in the school district to choose a free book to take home and keep.
The campaign's website (http://PBCReads.org/) features an interactive castle and dragon, and has different sections for parents, kids, and friends. The website includes a lot of great information- literacy organizations looking for volunteers, summaries of the community solution areas for kids and parents, as well as tips for becoming better readers:
Take Books Along: Reading keeps you from getting bored. So why not bring a book or magazine along to read while you’re at a doctor’s appointment or waiting for your sister’s ballet class to end?
Help a Friend: If a friend is having a hard time reading, offer to read with them. Or read to a younger child. This will help you practice reading while showing them how fun books can be.
Visit the Library: Libraries let you borrow books for FREE! You get to take them home for a little while, then bring them back so someone can enjoy the books. So ask your parents to take you to the library, and pick out the books you like best.
It's going to be a magical year for young readers in Palm Beach County!
Tell Our Story – Attendance
The Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County facilitated a visit to our area with Hedy Chang, Director of Attendance Works, as part of its involvement with the Campaign for Grade Level Reading. Ms. Chang met with area superintendents and other key school district administrators to discuss how to further involve local schools in reducing chronic absenteeism. The meeting was so successful that the School District is anticipating bringing Ms. Chang back at a later date to meet with school principals. The School District of Palm Beach County is the eleventh largest in the county. School District Superintendent Wayne Gent has signed the Attendance Works Call to Action indicating the support of the School District to focus on attendance solutions.
The School District made October Attendance Awareness Month throughout its system using the slogan, “You Must Be Present to Win!” This appeared on school marquees and web sites. The Superintendent of Schools presented a proclamation to the Literacy Coalition at a School Board meeting declaring October Attendance Awareness Month.
On her visit to Palm Beach County, Ms. Chang was also the keynote speaker at the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County’s sixth annual Mayors’ Literacy Luncheon that annually updates mayors and city commissioners from the 38 local municipalities on literacy and education issues. The Literacy Coalition has actively involved the mayors and officials in the Campaign for Grade Level Reading. The event was held in partnership with the Palm Beach County League of Cities and is sponsored by Comcast. Also in attendance to meet with Ms. Chang were 25 members of the Florida Philanthropic Network. Their participation was sponsored by The Patterson Foundation. The Children’s Services Council, a Campaign Pacesetter, provided travel expenses for Ms. Chang’s visit.