The intent of the event is to highlight literacy in Kentucky, celebrate accomplishments and focus on challenges the commonwealth still faces, according to the Kentucky Literacy Celebration website.

The ability to read, write and think critically about a variety of texts is certainly a key to opening doors of opportunity for our children and their families, said Brenda Overturf, literacy specialist in residence in the College of Education and Human Development.

Overturf said she plans for her graduate students to celebrate literacy in class Monday by discussing diverse texts of their choosing.

Throughout the week, there will be a variety of literacy activities and events around Kentucky. The first lady will visit several cities, including Louisville. She and CEHD faculty will read their favorite books to students at J.B. Atkinson Academy for Excellence. Atkinson is part of UofL’s Signature Partnership.

CEHD helped plan the Atkinson event, will collect multicultural children’s books to contribute to the Barbara Miller multicultural book collection at Ekstrom Library and has compiled a list of suggestions for others at UofL to be involved in the celebration. Here they are:

Monday, Feb. 28: African-American Read-In 

The month of February is the official month of the African-American Read-In. Professors may choose to hold a read-in during their Feb. 28 classes, or students may hold a read-in with their family, friends, church or community agency.

Here are tips for a successful read-in:

  • Ask participants to bring stories, poems, books or essays written by African-American authors. Choose a theme or particular writer.
  • Ask each person to read aloud a portion of the written works they brought or allow time for silent reading, and then ask your guests to share what they read.
  • Serve light refreshments. 

The National Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts sponsors annual February African-American Read-In with support from the International Reading Association. More information, including lists of works by African American authors, is at NCTE.

Tuesday, March 1: Literacy on UofL Social Networks

Let’s talk about literacy on UofL social networks. What is your favorite book and why do you love it? Why is reading important to you? Post a message on the UofL Facebook page. Let’s see how many thoughts about literacy we can get from UofL students, faculty and staff!

Wednesday, March 2: Read Across America Day

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! Dr. Seuss epitomized the idea that reading is fun. In honor of the big day, the National Education Association designated March 2 as Read Across America Day. NEA calls for every child to read in the company of a caring adult on that day.

Some examples of ways to celebrate Read Across America Day at UofL:

  • Read a Dr. Seuss book to a child, either in person or with your webcam.
  • Collect and donate books to a local homeless shelter or child care center.
  • Send an e-card for readers from Reading Rockets.
  • Share the Louisville-based National Center for Family Literacy Wonderopolis page with a child you know.

More information and resources about Read Across America is at NEA.

Thursday, March 3: Literacy Display at Ekstrom Library

Celebrate literacy at Ekstrom Library. Check out the digital kiosk display in the lobby and the table display honoring Kentucky authors.

Friday, March 4: First Lady Jane Beshear visits Atkinson Academy for Excellence

UofL celebrates literacy with its Signature Partnership schools. CEHD liaisons have helped Signature Partnership schools plan literacy activities for the celebration. For example, Christine Sherretz helped faculty and staff at Atkinson Academy plan a week of fun-filled activities that celebrate the power of reading. On Friday, March 4, UofL faculty from CEHD will join Beshear at Atkinson to read a favorite book to students.