The 11th year of the Fairbanks-created Alaska Guys and Gals Read programs will send teams of volunteer readers into all 18 local public elementary schools this coming school year (2016-17) to read the first parts of heavily-illustrated books to 4th grade boys and girls. They read each book one time for 20 minutes (all the time we have in one lunch period, but long enough to engage the kids' interest) and donate 3 copies of each book to the school libraries.
The programs draws nearly 100% of all the kids, and the books become the most popular in school, across ages and sexes. The program is entirely volunteer-based, and raises all its funding through small local contributions.
Guys Read has won two major national awards (2012 National Assn. of Counties Academic Achievement Award, and 2013 Public Library Association Innovations in Literacy Award.
Libraries in Alaska (Nome, Barrow, Wasilla, Sitka) and the Lower 48 (2 library systems in Maryland) have adopted our approach, using the downloadable manual from our website.
Funded by Alaska (July 2016)