RACINE, Wis. — Fisk Johnson, SC Johnson's chairman and CEO, has been named "Friend of the Library" by the Racine Public Library. Johnson received the award for sponsoring the Racine Reads: Dream Big! program during the 2011-2012 school year.
The program challenged 10,000 local elementary school students to read 1 million books during the school year — an average of 100 books per child. Students rose to the challenge, by more than quadrupling the national average, by reading 180 books per student and 1.8 million books in total.
"The Racine Reads program is especially meaningful because of the way students, teachers and community members came together to embrace the challenge and achieve their goal," said Johnson. "We know that literacy is the foundation for educational success and the library was a driving force behind the program's achievements. It was an honor to partner with them to bring such an impactful and memorable program to the community and inspire Racine's elementary students."
The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that one child in four grows up not knowing how to read. Communities across the nation are challenged to keep kids interested in learning. Racine Reads: Dream Big! was developed as a holistic approach to literacy advancement. Children in the community were surrounded by reading in all aspects of their lives, from the classroom where teachers and principals were given program tool kits, to the community as a whole through author visits, live performances and readings and volunteer opportunities.
"The Racine Reads program is a tremendous success that continues to introduce creative and exciting ways to encourage our community's youngest students to become better readers," said Jessica MacPhail, director of the Racine Public Library. "It is a privilege to honor Fisk Johnson as a Friend of the Library and look forward to our continued partnership."
Racine Reads: Dream Big! donated more than 10,000 books to elementary students and school libraries throughout the program
The Friend of the Library Award is given to a citizen who or an organization or institution that has promoted the work and mission of the Racine Public Library. It is the library’s highest honor. For the past several decades, the Friends of the Library have helped support programming and other library goals, such as pursuing innovative projects, though annual book sales.
The $100,000 grand prize library makeover was awarded to Wadewitz Elementary School. Runners-up, Trinity Lutheran and Mount Pleasant Renaissance, each received $25,000. Individual classroom prizes were also given to Roosevelt, John Paul II Academy and Jerstad-Agerholm Elementary, which received iPads, Kindles and gift cards, respectively.
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