TOPEKA – Read Kansas Read, a summer reading program launched by Governor Sam Brownback, the Kansas State Board of Education and the State Library of Kansas, released a series of new television and radio public service announcements that will air statewide beginning this week.
Governor Brownback says the announcements will feature some high-profile Kansans, including University of Kansas Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bill Self, Wichita State’s Head Baseball Coach Gene Stephenson, Pittsburg State University Head Football Coach Tim Beck and others.
“The goal of the program is to keep Kansas children reading over the summer,” Governor Brownback said. “These new advertisements are designed to catch the eye of young Kansans and to raise awareness that their local heroes are reading during the summer, and they should too.”
The group of advertisements include coaches and players from a number of Kansas’ Regents Universities.
"Reading provides a strong foundation for success in school, career, and life," said Andy Tompkins, president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents. “We are honored to join Governor Brownback in promoting Read Kansas Read, and I pledge to read at least five books this summer. I challenge students across the state to participate in this program and discover the joy of reading!”
The Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) has partnered with the program to help distribute and air the PSAs. Kent Cornish, the President of KAB, said the organization is happy to support such an important cause.
“Promoting the summer reading program is a real collaborative effort,” Cornish said. “The Kansas Association of Broadcasters is happy to do what we can to spread the word that reading is important, especially during the summer.”
In August, the top two summer readers from each of the 10 Kansas State Department of Education districts and their families will join the Governor and First Lady for a special picnic celebration catered by Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers at Cedar Crest, the Governor’s Mansion, in Topeka. Special guests and mascots from Kansas universities and colleges also will attend the celebration.
Kids interested in participating can sign up at the local library or download their own book tracking form from the program’s website, www.ReadKansasRead.ks.gov. All participating libraries and individuals must complete and return their form by August 1st.
“I want to challenge every Kansas student to read as many books as they can this summer. I plan to read at least four,” Brownback said.
Sponsors of the summer reading program include Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Kansas Association of Broadcasters, Kansas Board of Regents, Kansas Book Festival, Kansas State Library, Kansas State Department of Education, State Library of Kansas, Kansas State University, MetaMetrics, Inc., Pittsburg State University, University of Kansas, and Wichita State University.