Today is National Readathon Day!

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You might take for granted how easy it is for you to read this sentence, but millions of Americans still struggle with basic literacy. 40% of American adults are either at or below basic reading proficiency, and 14% are fully illiterate. But the trouble doesn’t stop there. Each year, millions of Americans — especially our youth — are losing touch with the power and importance of reading books. As Malcolm X said, “People don’t realize how a whole life can be changed by one book.”

Help change lives this winter by celebrating National Readathon Day with Penguin Random House, GoodReads, Mashable, and the National Book Foundation. Together with your support, we hope to help fund their efforts to educate, tutor, create and sustain a lifelong love of reading.

You can get involved by joining readers across America in a marathon reading session on Saturday, January 24. From Noon – 4 PM in our respective time zones, we will sit and read a book in our own home, library, school or bookstore.

Get started now by creating your own Firstgiving Fundraising page, and inviting friends and family to donate, or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

You can find out more here:
http://www.nationalbook.org/2015_readathon.html

If you represent a bookstore, library or school, we invite your venue to host a “reading party” during the Readathon, so your local community can gather and read together. You can also create a fundraising team (named for your bookstore or library), enabling your community to fund raise together as a group to contribute to the National Book Foundation’s efforts to promote reading in America. Visit our Readathon Resources page for supporting materials and information on how to get started.

And be sure to share your experiences and photos using the hash tag, #timetoread!

In Appreciation

johnson statue 001Have you noticed a new ‘friend’ among the stacks?  We recently received this lovely gift from Senator Johnson. Along with the statue came a letter that read:

United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Tim Johnson
South Dakota
November 19, 2014

Dear Friends:

My wife Barbara and I have many cherished memories of going with our children to the Vermillion Public Library. It was there that our children’s love of reading blossomed, and ours grew as well.

To honor these fond memories, Barbara and I are donating this statue as a thank you to the Vermillion community.

I received this statue from the School Administrators of South Dakota in recognition of my steadfast support and commitment to education. Literacy plays a critical role in giving children the skills they need to succeed in school and in their future careers. The Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library is a place where children and adults can broaden their horizons through books, educational programming, technology, and guidance from library staff.

Over the years, I have proudly displayed this statue in my Senate office in Washington, D.C. It has greeted countless South Dakotans, public officials, foreign dignitaries, and other guests as they visited my office, and it has served as a constant reminder of the importance of education. I am glad this statue has found a new home and hope it will help inspire young readers.

Sincerely,
Tim Johnson