On Literacy Day, Sept. 8, Gov. Norm Bangerter will proclaim the beginning of "Read to Succeed," a yearlong literacy effort in Utah.
The Deseret News will help sponsor the year's events, in cooperation with the Utah Literacy/English-as-a-Second-Language Coalition, the state's PLUS (Project Literacy U.S.) Committee and KTVX and KBYU television stations."I guess what makes me so excited about our Family Focus program," says Carolyn Dickson, manager of Newspaper in Education for the Deseret News, "is that we'll be teaching parents what we've been teaching teachers who take our workshops: that newspapers are a perfect medium for learning to read and analyze."
For nearly 10 years the Deseret News has had an active Newspaper in Education program, providing papers and helping teachers use them in innovative ways in their classrooms. Now, in cooperation with the PTA, the Deseret News will hold free Family Focus workshops to help parents learn new ways to foster good reading habits. Parents who attend receive special family subscription rates.
"No responsibility is more important," Dickson says. "We as readers know that. We want our children to be literate; 20 years from now, we want America to be a nation of readers.
"But there just isn't much time in a parent's day," says Dickson, "especially when so many work outside the home." In the evening, she says, when parents want to relax and read the paper and children want to talk, "let them sit on the sofa next to you. Enjoy the paper together," she suggests.
Dickson has numerous ideas on how to read together - from asking your preschooler what is happening in a photograph to letting an older child select a recipe for the family to try.
For more information on "Family Focus: Read to Succeed," call the Deseret News at 237-2140.