When children become good readers in the early grades, they are more likely to become better learners throughout their school years and beyond.

Published 6:44 am Wednesday, May 30, 2012

(NAPSI)—Research shows that success in school and life starts with literacy. Consider this: Only 32 percent of fourth graders read at a proficient level and 34 percent can’t even read at the most basic level. Access to books continues to be one of the single most important factors in a student’s success, but far too many of America’s children do not have this most basic resource for learning. When children become good readers in the early grades, they are more likely to become better learners throughout their school years and beyond.

In a nationwide effort to communicate the importance of reading to children, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) has launched a national public service announcement (PSA) campaign, Book People Unite. The campaign-made possible through a partnership with RIF, the Library of Congress and the Ad Council-features many beloved book characters and a star-studded soundtrack, aimed at sparking a movement to put books in the hands of children who need them most.

Pinocchio, Madeline, Humpty Dumpty, Curious George, Raggedy Ann and Andy star in the PSA, encouraging parents to “Read to a child today and spark a lifetime of ambition.” The original song in the television PSA was produced by Grammy Award-winning band The Roots. Celebrity vocalists Jack Black, Chris Martin, John Legend, Jim James, Jason Schwartzman, Consequence, Regina Spektor, Nate Ruess, Carrie Brownstein and Melanie Fiona lend their voices to the song.

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By visiting www.BookPeopleUnite.org, individuals can join the movement by taking the pledge and declaring themselves a “book person.” Each person who pledges will receive a free download of the song featured in the PSA. The site also features access to the Library of Congress’ and RIF’s respective websites, where people can find tips and advice for reading with their children.

“One book can spark a lifetime of ambition, and we are asking the nation to join us in igniting a culture of reading where all kids can explore, dream and achieve,” said Carol Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. “This PSA is part of our campaign to unite a community of people who believe in the transformative power of books and are committed to this critical cause. Together, we can realize our vision of a literate America.”

RIF has been providing free books and literacy services to children and families in need for 45 years. And since 2000, the Ad Council has partnered with the Library of Congress on a national reading campaign. The organizations reach out to children in an effort to inspire fun and promote literacy in all types of learning, including reading books, magazines and cartoons, online and interactive tools, visiting museums, creating music and using one’s imagination.

“As America’s oldest cultural institution, the Library encourages the use and enjoyment of our nation’s creativity and knowledge. We hope this entertaining campaign—combining beloved children’s book characters and world-renowned musical talent—inspires families to establish a lifelong love of reading,” said Gayle Osterberg, director of communications at the Library of Congress.

Brought to you by the Library of Congress and Reading Is Fundamental.

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)