Ads will Push Parents to Read with Children

The Advertising Council and the Library of Congress are launching a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) to encourage parents to read with their children and inspire them to become lifelong learners.

Research conducted by Florida State University found that when parents become involved in their children’s literacy practices, children improve in reading achievement, language comprehension and expressive language skills.

Additionally, an overall increase in parental involvement in their child’s reading makes children more willing to read. When parents and children read together, it also increases the frequency of a child’s reading.

The new PSAs feature the iconic children’s literary character Curious George. The television, print and outdoor advertisements feature George and his best friend and mentor, “The Man with the Yellow Hat,” reading books together. These PSAs encourage parents to “Read to your child today and inspire a lifelong love of reading.”

“There is no more important influence in instilling a lifelong love of reading in a child than his or her parent or caregiver,” said Deanna Marcum, associate librarian for library services at the Library of Congress. “The Library of Congress is pleased to work with the Ad Council to champion such an important cause, which inspires curiosity and creativity in young people, who then grow up to become better informed and engaged citizens.”

The new PSAs are launching to coincide with children’s summer vacations. A study conducted by The Center for Evaluation, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, suggests that having elementary school students read four or five books during the summer can prevent the reading achievement losses that normally occur during those months.

“The new PSAs are so smart and entertaining for parents and children,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Advertising Council. “Curious George is a timeless character that both children and parents can relate to which makes reading together more enjoyable.”

The campaign, created in partnership with Universal Partnerships & Licensing and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company encourages parents and kids to visit www.Read.gov as a source for discovery, learning, family fun, and to experience the joy of reading.

The PSAs also direct tweens to a website that features the Library of Congress’s serialized story The Exquisite Corpse Adventure. The adventure is written by many well-known children’s authors — some of which include Jon Scieszka and Kate DiCamillo, in the form of an “exquisite corpse.”

Each author tells part of the story for two weeks before the story is given to a different author. A new episode is published every two weeks for a year. Each episode also features the work of children’s illustrators.

Between episodes, kids are encouraged to play The Exquisite Corpse Brain Game where they are tested on what they have read in the past and predict what will happen in the future.

Curious George was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1941 and stars in the Emmy-award winning PBS KIDS television series Curious George. It has also starred in two full-length movies, Curious George and Curious George 2: Follow that Monkey!

For more information, you can visit www.curiousgeorge.com.

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization working in the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public.

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