OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 16, 2013) – More than 2,000 elementary school students from all across Oklahoma attended the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s (OSDE) ReadOK event at the State Capitol today.
The two-hour event on the Capitol's north lawn was a celebration of reading held in conjunction with the state’s 106th birthday.
“Reading is such a foundational skill,” said State Superintendent Janet Barresi. “We wanted to give children a fun way to experience reading, and what better way than to help the state of Oklahoma celebrate its birthday?”
ReadOK featured Oklahoma authors such as Geri Gilstrap, author of "Big Green and Little Red;" Saundra Arnold, author of "My Friend Isaac;" and Sandra Lawson, author of “The Best Baker in the World!” as well as many others who read books to groups of children.
OSDE staff and other volunteers also read books, many dressed in character, such as Amelia Bedelia and Madeline. Children also were visited by the Cat in the Hat, characters from the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA), the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre and the Oklahoma City Barons mascot Derrick the Mountain Lion and two Ice Girls.
Scholastic Books gave away books to children. Kids also got to enjoy birthday cake and punch, while supplies lasted, and many had their faces painted by OSDE volunteers.
The department's literacy coaches held smaller events throughout the state for children in their regional areas.