UPDATE: A set of four full-size READ posters (18″x24″) can now be purchased through the Libraries TxShop. All proceeds go toward expanding the campaign to the classrooms of even more future Longhorns.
EARLIER: The Libraries have unveiled a quartet of posters featuring icons from The University of Texas at Austin in the hopes of getting kids of all ages to pick up a book (or e-reader).
Taking part in the American Library Association’s READ promotion, the Libraries have produced a series of four posters featuring the “Hook ‘em” mascot and Bevo reading in unexpected places.
We’ve distributed a set of the posters to all 655 schools in the Texas Education Agency’s Region XIII area, including Austin and Independent School Districts in the surrounding counties, and hope that this works well enough to justify expanding the program (possibly to all Texas publics – fingers crossed) in the future. Already, teachers and librarians from area schools who’ve received the package have written to thank us for the gesture (even an Aggie mom), and to let us know that the kids love them.
The campaign is meant to encourage reading at an early age in order to improve core competencies in literacy, which would have a likely outcome of increasing incoming student preparedness for potential future University of Texas undergraduates. In other words, we’re working on ways outside the campus to influence those 4-year graduation rates.
The first READ poster by ALA featuring comedian Bill Cosby came out in 1985. Since then, over 150 notable personalities have provided their portrait as endorsement of the program to inspire readers.