LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- What if 69 percent of third graders in Arkansas showed up without shoes? We'd see a statewide effort to right that wrong. Well, 69 percent of Arkansas third graders cannot read on grade level.
This comparison was noted by Sherece West-Scantlebury of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation in a recent online op-ed piece. And after she pointed that out she asked: "Why aren't we taking action?"
In answer to that question, a tour was born. From Mcghee to Maumelle, from Warren to Wrightsville, Pulaski County to Perryville, 16 libraries in eight weeks, with one central theme: the joy of reading.
It was a celebration of the book a source of problem solving. A view of the library as an idea warehouse. A hearty endorsement of this summer's reading club theme: build a better world.
THV11 would like to tell you that thousands showed up, but no, the estimate is THV11 encountered around 600 kids. But, if a majority of those kids become lifetime readers, learning to use slow, reasoned thought as opposed to lizard brain reaction to the tsunami of data we all have in the palm of our hands now, then mission accomplished.
But it's hard to gauge impact. All THV11 knows is, we're going to keep this up. It's fun and the byproduct that THV11 showed week after week, a growing confidence in our community.