420 Students from Jefferson County school district celebrate The Gift of Literacy

For Immediate Release
May 26, 2021
Joseph Prechtl, Communications Coordinator
jprechtl@509j.net | 541-475-6192 Ext. 2225

On Tuesday, June 1, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., first and second-grade students from the Jefferson County school district will come together virtually to celebrate The Gift of Literacy.

The event will be virtual to align with COVID-19 protocols set forth in the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance from the Oregon Department of Education.

This event is the culmination of the Tenth Annual Gift of Literacy program. The program, which runs for eight months, is designed to promote the love of reading at an early age and inspire long-term success in school and in life.

Students will meet children’s author Eric Kimmel. He will do a read aloud of his book, “The Runaway Tortilla.” He will also lead them in creating stories of their own. Kimmel began dreaming about becoming an author in Kindergarten and has now published more than fifty titles, many of which have won numerous state awards, appeared on school and library recommended lists, and won prestigious awards such as the Caldecott Honor Medal (Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins) and the Sydney Taylor Picture Book Award (The Chanukkah Guest and Gershon’s Monster).

“Our main goal is to inspire students to read and have fun with literacy,” Melinda Boyle, Director of Curriculum and Instruction said. “Although this year’s celebration is virtual, it is still my favorite day of the year! I love watching the children open their book bags and pull out the book that they selected and begin reading.”

While the event is virtual this year, there will still be no shortage of learning and educational time. Students will also receive a hardbound copy of one of the six books highlighted in this year’s program, a book bag filled with educational goodies, and a t-shirt.

This annual event is designed to encourage a love of reading and increase the literacy rates of students in the Jefferson County community.

The program was initiated by the Jefferson County Rotary Club, Madras, and is sponsored by a federal Innovative Approaches to Literacy Grant, Bright Wood Quality Millwork, Doug & Patty Lieuallen, Madras Education Association, Mid Oregon Credit Union, PayneWest Insurance, Pratum Co-op, Rotary International, St. Charles Health Systems, Warm Springs Power and Water, and Jefferson County School District.

The media is invited to attend the virtual event, and talk with school district representatives and event sponsors.

Date: June 1, 2021 — Tuesday

Time: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m

Place: In Your Classroom by Zoom

Celebration Schedule:

12:30 p.m. Welcome from Jefferson County Rotary Club

12:35 p.m. Presentation by Eric Kimmel-Read Aloud, The Runaway Tortilla

 12:50 p.m. “Let’s make a Story” –Teachers will interact with the author for their class by raising a hand/or through the chat.

1:25 p.m. Backpack Presentation–School Media Specialists

1:30 p.m. End of Presentation

Gift of Literacy Information: https://sites.google.com/a/509j.net/jcsd-gift-of-literacy/