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Week of the Young Child Recap: Legislative Read Day

On Friday, April 11, legislators from around the state of Oklahoma read to children in their district for Legislative Read Day. The goal of this event was to promote early literacy across the state in honor of Week of the Young Child.

Each of the eight sites had legislators reading books to groups of children at high-quality early childhood centers. All of the sites had a specific book to read associated with Ellen Galinsky’s Mind in the Making tip sheets. All the children in attendance received a free book for participating. Partners in this event included Smart Start Oklahoma, Potts Family Foundation, Oklahoma Business Roundtable, Oklahoma Champions for Early Opportunities (OKCEOs), Reach Out and Read Oklahoma, and local Smart Start Oklahoma communities.

The sites that participated in this event included:

Chickasaw Child Development Center in Ada

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Sen. Susan Paddack and Rep. Todd Thompson focused on the skill of perspective taking in their Mind in the Making approved selection, Fish is Fish. OKCEO Michelle Key and Smart Start Community Coordinator Suzanne Simmons helped collaborate on this event.


Delaware Child Development Center in Bartlesville
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            Sen. John Ford and Rep. Earl Sears read Caps for Sale¸ which focuses on the skill of making connections. Michael Gordan represented Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Rajean Stelfox is the Smart Start Community Coordinator, who lead the event in her area.

            Delta Head Start in Duncan

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My Five Senses was the reading selection for Duncan, which was read by Sen. Corey Brooks, Sen. Don Barrington, and Rep. Dennis Johnson. This book focuses on the skill of self-engaged learning. Dr. Staci Elfrink is the OKCEO, and Julie Sanders is the Smart Start Community Coordinator who made this event a success. Read the Duncan Banner article here


Choctaw Nation Head Start in Durant

   Rep. Dustin Roberts read Are You My Mother?, selected to improve a child's critical thinking skills, to the children. Heather Smiley is the Smart Start Community Coordinator and Dr. Joy Culbreath is the OKCEO representative. 

     Westside Head Start in Enid

             Sen. Patrick Anderson and Rep. John Enns read Caps for Sale¸ which focuses on the skill of making connections. Martie Oyler represented OKCEOs, and Renee Hoover was the Smart Start Community Coordinator. Read the Enid News article here.

            Eastar Health Systems Child Development Center in Muskogee

Whistle for Willie,  a book that focuses on the skills of focus and self control, was read to the children by Sen. Earl Garrison, Rep. Arthur Hulbert, and Rep. Jerry McPeak read
Whistle for Willie¸ which focuses on the skill of focus and selfcontrol. Dr. Neil Morton represented OKCEOs, and the Smart Start Community Coordinator was Susan Savage.


    EduCare in Oklahoma City
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          Rep. Jason Nelson read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, which focuses on the skill of critical thinking. OKCEO Dan Schiedel attended, along with Smart Start Central Oklahoma Executive Director Stacy Dykstra. 

          Woodward Early Childhood Center in Woodward

          Rep. Bryce Marlatt and Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman read Are You Ready to Play Outside? Which focuses on the skill of communication. Bill Fanning represented Stock Exchange Bank, and Kevin Evans the Smart Start community coordinator.

          At Smart Start Oklahoma, we are thankful for the countless people collaborating with us on this project in order to make it a great success. We are thankful for all the legislators and community partners who helped us make this event a success! 

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