For Immediate Release
May 19, 2022
Joseph Prechtl, Communications Coordinator
jprechtl@509j.net | 541-475-6192 Ext. 2225

232 Students from the Jefferson County School District 509J celebrate The Gift of Literacy

Madras, Ore. – On Friday, May 20, from 10:00 am-1:00 pm, first grade students from Jefferson County School District 509 will come together to celebrate The Gift of Literacy.

This event is the culmination of the Eleventh 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 read aloud one of his books. He will also lead them in creating stories of their own. Kimmel began dreaming about becoming an author in Kindergarten. He has 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 ensure students flourish in reading and have fun with literacy,” Melinda Boyle, Director of Curriculum and Instruction said. “It is my favorite day of the year and I am so excited to return to an in-person event. I love watching the children open their books and seeing the excitement in their eyes when they start reading.”

There will still be no shortage of learning and educational time. Students will receive a copy of one of the six books highlighted in this year’s program, a book bag filled with educational goodies, a water bottle, headphones, a t-shirt and more.

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, 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.

This event will also be in honor of Dr. Doug Lieuallen. He and his wife, Patty, have been longtime supporters of the Gift of Literacy.

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

Date: May 20, 2022 — Friday

Time: 9:45am-1:00pm

Place: Performing Arts Center

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