Fourth Annual Statewide Literacy Celebration is March 17-21

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 14, 2014) – As a part of her ongoing reading recommendations initiative, First Lady Jane Beshear today announced a special reading list for the Fourth Annual Kentucky Literacy Celebration, March 17-21.

The 2014 Literacy Celebration theme is “Literacy Horizons,” and is inspired by the many wonderful literacy horizons connecting various aspects of life and learning. The celebration will involve several statewide events focused on improving literacy levels for all Kentuckians.

“Each year, it’s estimated that illiteracy costs U.S. businesses $225 billion in lost productivity,” said Mrs. Beshear. “In Kentucky, through events like the Literacy Celebration, we are making the effort to improve that number by highlighting the importance of reading and literacy for people of all ages. This year, each of my reading recommendations focuses on a science-related subject matter, to go along with the Literacy Celebration theme of exploring new horizons through reading.”

With a growing focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education it is important for children to learn that science can be fun at an early age. The books on this list introduce children of all ages to the exciting world of science and nature.
2014 Literacy Week Reading Recommendations

  1. On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne (Ages 6-9) – “Einstein is known as having one of the greatest scientific minds in history, and it came to be because he started as a boy with a big imagination. This book offers young readers an overview of Einstein’s life, including his days a child when he stood out for not talking and being different because of his ideas. It teaches children not only the importance of scientific discovery, but the value of being an individual.”
  2. The Alchemist War by John Seven (Ages 10-13) – “Part of the ‘Time-Tripping Farradays’ series, this book is perfect for young science-fiction fans. It follows two 25th century children, Dawk and Hype, as they accompany their scientist parents on their research missions throughout different eras in time. In this particular story, Dawk and Hype travel to Prague in the 1600s and become wrapped in up an adventure about an alchemist mystery.”
  3. The Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen (Ages 4-8) – “The widely-known Magic School Bus series is a vast selection of books that follow the quirky teacher Ms. Frizzle and her class as she takes them on exciting adventures aboard a magic school bus to discover and explain different scientific phenomena. This selection is one of the original in the series, and gives a unique perspective on the inner-workings of the human body after one of the students, Arnold, swallows the school bus and the class travels throughout his stomach, intestines and bloodstream.”
  4. Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos (Ages 12 and up) – “The scope of this well-researched, compelling book goes beyond the scientific history of sugar to also explore its immense impact on social and political history throughout the past 200 years. It gives a thoughtful and detailed account of the powerful effects that cultivating a crop can have on cultures and generations. This nonfiction account is for mature readers, and is certain to provide readers with a different perspective on history.”
  5. The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle (Ages 1-3) – “The easy, rhythmic text and colorful, collage pictures combine to make this book a favorite for very young readers. The book introduces children to different animals, the sounds they make and the activities they do as they visit a spider as she is spinning her web. Through the process of web-spinning, the book also teaches children the concept of hard work and how it pays off.”
  6. Onion Juice, Poop, and Other Surprising Sources of Alternative Energy by Mark Weakland (Ages 8-10) – “Energy powers so many things in our everyday lives – from the cars we drive in, to the devices we communicate with to gadgets we work and play on. This book teaches readers about energy consumption and the importance of energy efficiency through exploring new and unique sources of energy.”
  7. Madame Curie: A Biography by Eve Curie (Ages 13 and up) – “Written by her daughter, this biography chronicles Madame Curie’s legendary achievements in science, including her pioneering efforts in the study of radioactivity and her two Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry. This story spotlights Curie’s remarkable life as the first woman scientist to win worldwide acclaim, and will offer inspiration to young girls seeking a career in science or any other male-dominated field of work.”
  8. The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons (Ages 5 and up) – “This fun, simple read gives students a glimpse in to the scientific world of astronomy. Through artwork and easily understandable explanations, the book describes the different movement and phases of the moon, how the moon is Earth’s only satellite and how humans have observed and explored it over the years.”
  9. Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World by Elizabeth Rusch (Ages 7-10) – “Thomas Edison’s name may be better known, but as the man who made alternating current a practical means of delivering electrical power, Tesla has had a far greater impact on the modern world. This book will introduce young readers to the lesser-known Nikola Tesla and how his inventions changed the world. Without Tesla, remote controls, X-rays, cellphones and even the radio may not have existed.”
  10. Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert (Ages 4-8) – “This vivid and colorful picture book gives children a wonderful perspective on the joy of gardening and the importance of nutrition. It offers a fresh take on the growing cycle and will encourage readers to want to learn more about the world of plants, and even inspire them to create their own gardens.”

Mrs. Beshear will be traveling across the state during Kentucky Literacy Celebration Week to visit a number of schools, adult education centers, and libraries to promote reading education and learn about community literacy programs. She will be visiting the following Kentucky cities on the below dates:

  • Monday, March 17 – Hopkinsville, Fulton, Hickman
  • Tuesday, March 18 – Springfield, Lexington
  • Wednesday, March 19 – Dayton, Burlington, Ryland Heights
  • Thursday, March 20 – Stanford, Waynesburg, Williamsburg
  • Friday, March 21 – Greenup, Argillite

To learn more about the Kentucky Literacy Celebration, visit http://www.kentuckyliteracy.org/celebrate2014.




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