It wasn’t a jet breaking the sound barrier. It wasn’t a
sold-out rock concert in a huge arena. But if you had
closed your eyes at any of the AR Kids Read Spring
Kickoff events and listened to the deafening roar of
excited little voices and felt the excitement in the air—
you would have thought otherwise.
AR Kids Read’s Spring Kickoff events were designed to
get students excited about reading as a new semester
began, and to encourage members of the community to
get involved in the AR Kids Read initiative.
“We know that if we can get students excited about reading
at an early age, they are more likely to be lifelong readers
and to be more successful individuals. Events like these help build that excitement” said Kim Starr, Principal
at Indian Hills Elementary School, one of 46 elementary schools participating in the AR Kids Read tutor program
Kindergarten through third grade students were invited to an assembly where AR Kids Read Partners joined the
students in taking the AR Kids Read pledge. In exchange for their pledge to read every day, students were given a
free book, courtesy of AETN and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.
The students also had the chance to meet and have their photos taken with Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Cat in
the Hat, and WordGirl. “It was exciting to see how enthusiastic the kids were to not only see the characters, but
also to be involved in the cheers and to read the Dr. Seuss book,” said Kara Raney, a UALR Public Relations student
who attended the event at Mabelvale Elementary School.
The events took place between January 13th and January 22nd, 2014 at six elementary schools in the Little Rock,
North Little Rock, and Pulaski County school districts.
“With several events spread across the county, this required a lot of planning and work, and we just could not have
done it without Dan Koops and his team at AETN. We are so grateful to them for making these events a huge success,”
said Charlie Conklin, Executive Director of AR Kids Read.
AETN, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and the Arkansas Campaign for Grade Level Reading sponsored the
events as part of a two year grant AR Kids Read received this year from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.