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W.Va. expands reading campaign

August 27, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

West Virginia natives Homer Hickam and Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. are teaming up with the West Virginia Department of Education to promote reading in the Mountain State.

Hickam, whose book "Rocket Boys" inspired the movie "October Sky," and Landau, winner of "America's Got Talent" Season 6, are appearing in public service announcements that ask, "What are you reading West Virginia?"

They join Jennifer Garner, John Corbett, Sam Trammell and others in promoting reading as part of Read WV, a long-term collaborative project of the West Virginia Department of Education, Read Aloud West Virginia, the West Virginia Library Commission and the Imagination Library.

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Murphy, who grew up in Logan, tells viewers he's always been a dreamer. "Reading with our kids is one way we all can nurture their dreams," he said.

Read WV is designed to encourage children and their parents and grandparents to make reading a priority early in life and to involve all West Virginians in the critical task of ensuring that children read every day. The project includes a web page of resources on the state Department of Education website at The PSAs also are posted on the ReadWV website.

In recent years, the state Board of Education recognized that too many West Virginia children come to school from homes where reading is not commonplace. The board refined its education goals by reaffirming the importance of "teaching all children to read." While progress has been made, Read WV acknowledges more can be done. By encouraging parents to read with their children, Read WV strives to increase the literacy of all West Virginians.

More information is available by contacting the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.



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