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November 1, 2006

First Lady Patricia Blagojevich announces November selections for Children’s Reading Club: Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis and Indian Captive by Lois Lenski

CHAMPAIGN – First Lady Patricia Blagojevich today joined kindergarten and first grade Stratton Elementary School students to announce the November selections for her Children’s Reading Club – Jamie Lee Curtis’ Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day and Lois Lenski’s Indian Captive.  The First Lady read excerpts of Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day with the children and passed out free books to each child.  The Children’s Reading Club, a recommended reading list made up of books the First Lady and her daughters enjoy at home, encourages parents to read with their children and engage in early development of reading skills.
“Reading with your children is a great way to spend quality time with them, but just as important – it helps to enhance their reading and comprehension skills that will help them become more successful in school,” said the First Lady.  “I hope that families will enjoy the stories by Jamie Lee Curtis and Lois Lenski as much as I have with my own girls.”
Today I feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day helps children to explore, identify, and even have fun with their ever-changing moods.  Jamie Lee Curtis does an exceptional job of teaching children that everyone has moods that can change each day.
Indian Captive is a classic frontier adventure novel for students at a middle school reading level. In the book, Lois Lenski retells the life story of Mary Jemison, who was captured in a raid as a young girl and raised among the Seneca Indians.  Meticulously researched and illustrated with many detailed drawings, this novel offers an exceptionally vivid and personal portrait of Native American life and customs.
The First Lady launched the Children’s Reading Club literacy initiative in March of 2005, and has selected books such as Charlotte’s Web, Harriet the Spy, The Growing-up Feet, Henry Huggins and Number the Stars for the recommended list.   Each month’s book selection is featured on the First Lady’s website, http://www.illinois.gov/firstlady
The First Lady hopes the recommended list will enable parents to find books the whole family can enjoy.  The Children’s Reading Club applies to all children, but specifically targets children between the ages of seven and twelve.  In conjunction with the passage of the Preschool for All program, the First Lady has added new selections to her reading club, to encourage parents of younger readers to engage in early development of reading skills.
The Governor’s Preschool for All plan guarantees that nearly 190,000 children in Illinois will have the chance to attend preschool.   Studies have shown that students who attend preschool are more likely to graduate high school, less likely to need special education and less likely to be arrested for committing violent crimes.
As First Lady, Patricia Blagojevich has worked tirelessly to promote initiatives that help Illinois families bring up happy, healthy, and successful children.  In addition to her work with children’s literacy, the First Lady spearheaded the Illinois Pediatric Vision Awareness Initiative, the first state sponsored campaign in the U.S. to specifically target Amblyopia, or ‘lazy eye’, in children.  Mrs. Blagojevich has also brought attention to Healthy Families Illinois, a program that helps prevent child abuse by supporting high-risk parents.  In addition, she has promoted the Prevention Development Resource Project, a partnership between the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, and the Governor’s landmark All Kids plan, which makes Illinois the only state in the nation to provide affordable, comprehensive health insurance for every uninsured child in the state. 


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