As part of Kentucky Literacy Week (February 28 through March 4, 2011) the Educational Resources Center (ERC) in Gary A. Randsdell Hall in partnership with College of Education and Behavioral Sciences’ School of Teacher Education hosted its first ever “Read-In” Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 4:00 -5:00 p.m. Everyone in the WKU community was invited to participate by bringing their favorite book–appropriate for all ages!–and read a short selection.
Promoted statewide by First Lady Jane Beshear, the celebrations are intended to highlight literacy in Kentucky, celebrating the accomplishments and focusing on the challenges. The event drew a large crowd of participants including students, staff, faculty and children. WKU’s First Lady Julie Ransdsell opened with a story from Dr. Seuss; Gordon Baylis, Vice-President for Research, read a chapter from acclaimed London novelist Ian McEwan; the Provost, Gordon Emslie, read a classic baseball story by Roger Angell, sports columnist from the New Yorker which highlighted the final game of the 1978 American League season between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox (the Red Sox lost); the Dean of Libraries, Mike Binder, read a section from Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451. Brian Coutts, Department Head of Libraries Public Services, read a section from Man Martin’s humorous novel, Days of the Endless Corvette, Dr. Kay Gandy read from “The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America” by Bill Bryson, and Professor Haiwang Yuan read an ethnic folktale “The Mother Who Drives the Sun” from his book Princess Peacock: Tales from the Other Peoples of China. Other contributors included Ellen Micheletti and Jack Montgomery, both from the WKU Libraries.
Education students participated as well: Penny Allison read a poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar, one of the first prominent African American poets, born in 1872 of parents who had escaped slavery in Kentucky; Jamie Silverberg read from the children’s book Enemy Pie by Derek Munson, Jonathan Large read a poem from Shel Silverstein’s popular Where the Sidewalk Ends, and Jessie Varner read from a picture book about Daniel Boone.
Roxanne Spencer, ERC Coordinator, co-hosted the Read-in @ the ERC event, along with Jennifer Montgomery, Literacy faculty member, who spearheaded this celebration. A reception followed.