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August 10, 2001

Ryan Announces the Reading Passport Campaign for Young Readers at the 2001 State Fair

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today unveiled the "Reading: A Passport to Your Future" initiative at the 2001 Illinois State Fair. Intended for children ages 10 and under, the program shows children and families that reading can be fun and done anytime-even at the state fair.

"This program is an excellent way for kids to practice their reading skills while enjoying a family day at the fair," Gov. Ryan said. "By encouraging reading in a fun environment, kids will be more likely to enjoy what they read."

The reading passport is a way to tie a number of reading-related state fair activities together to promote the importance of reading to children. Children can pick up their passports at any of seven "ports," located at the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs in the Governor's Tent, Department of Agriculture at Agri-Expo, Department of Natural Resources at Conservation World, Department on Aging at the Illinois Building, the Illinois State Board of Education at Tech Town, the Secretary of State's tent, and the Department of Human Services at the Quality Counts van.

At each port, children will be exposed to reading in some way and receive a stamp on their passport. When they have received at least five stamps, the children can take their passports to the Governor's tent to receive a free book.

The list of books for children to choose from includes:

  • Peek-A-Boo by Roberta Grobel Intrater, for children ages 0-2.

  • Smile by Roberta Grobel Intrater, for children ages 0-2.

  • Babies by Susan Canizares, for children ages 0-2.

  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff, for children ages 3-6.

  • Swimmy by Leo Lionni, for children ages 4-7.

  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, for children ages 4-7.

  • Freight Train by Donald Crews, for children ages 4-7.

  • Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats, for children ages 5-8.

  • Dancing with the Indians by Angela Shelf Medearis, for children ages 5-8.

  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, for children ages 5-8.

  • Gooseberry Park by Cynthia Rylant, for children ages 8-12.

  • Puppies in the Pantry by Ben Baglio, for children ages 8-12.

  • If Your Name was Changed at Ellis Island by Ellen Levine, for children ages 8-14.

  • MC Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton, for children ages 9-13.

  • The Kid Who Became President by Dan Gutman, for children ages 9-13.


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