Presidential Support for Reading and Libraries

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In his first address to Congress, President Obama mentioned reading and libraries!

He encouraged parents to read to their children. Although he didn’t elaborate, I’m sure he meant read to your newborn, your toddler, your preschooler to prepare them to learn to read when they enter school. That’s the focus of our Ready to Read program.

But also read to and with your children as they learn to read; model the joy of reading, share your love of books. It’s special parent and child time together.

When President Obama introduced the young girl in the audience with Michelle Obama, he said she had written to him using a computer at her local public library. She asked him what he could do to make her school better.

"And I think about Ty’Sheoma Bethea, the young girl from that school I visited in Dillon, South Carolina – a place where the ceilings leak, the paint peels off the walls, and they have to stop teaching six times a day because the train barrels by their classroom. She has been told that her school is hopeless, but the other day after class she went to the public library and typed up a letter to the people sitting in this room. She even asked her principal for the money to buy a stamp. The letter asks us for help, and says, 'We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world. We are not quitters.'" ~ President Barack Obama, Address to Joint Session of Congress, 24 February 2009 

I don’t remember previous presidents mentioning reading or libraries in speeches to Congress. I was listening more carefully than I have in the past though.

I agree with him... to your children, come use a public computer at the library.


The Barack Obama READ Poster

Posted by Ann Rohrbaugh at 03/19/2009 08:41:35 AM | 

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