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Olympic Gold Medalist & Cartwright School District Team Up to Promote Early Literacy

Olympic Gold Medalist & Cartwright School District Team Up to Promote Early Literacy
Olympic Gold Medalist & Cartwright School District Team Up to Promote Early Literacy

Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation (ADF), in conjunction with the Children’s Museum of Phoenix and Cartwright School District will be promoting early childhood literacy to over 1,000 Valley kindergartners on April 23 and 24. The two-day event marks the foundation’s expansion into Arizona in its mission to promote early childhood literacy.

On Thursday, April 23rd, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., kindergarten students at Peralta Elementary School (part of the Cartwright School District), will get a special treat as Kristi Yamaguchi — Olympic Gold Medalist, ADF Founder, best-selling children’s author and philanthropist — will conduct a Read Aloud of her best-selling children’s book “Dream Big, Little Pig.”


Kristi Yamaguchi to visit Valley kindergartners in a two-day event to promote early childhood reading. On April 24, Yamaguchi and other celebrities will be participating in reading sessions and activities at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. (Photo: Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation/Facebook)

Following the reading, every K-student will receive LeapFrog digital readers and ten books to help build their own home libraries. Peralta Elementary School is located at 7125 W. Encanto Blvd, Phoenix.

On Friday, April 24, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix will host Kristi Yamaguchi’s Reading Adventures at the museum, a fun-filled day that focuses on helping young children experience the joy of reading and understanding its importance to success in school.  The Museum will host 1,000 kindergarten students from Title One schools throughout the day, sponsored by ADF.

Students will be visiting the Museum on a field trip from the Cartwright School District as well as the Phoenix Elementary School District. They will enjoy a day of celebrity readings, performances, a meet and greet with celebrities, hands-on activities and fun in the museum’s three floors of exhibits. Each student will leave the Museum with a free book to take home.

“My Always Dream Foundation is thrilled to partner with the Children’s Museum of Phoenix on this event which highlights the importance of early literacy,” said Kristi Yamaguchi, ADF Founder. “Reading at grade level is so critical to a student’s academic achievement, and anything we can do to get our youngest students engaged and excited about books and reading is a big step towards their success in life.”

 The event, which will be emceed by Kim Covington, kicks off at 9:15 a.m. with a welcome by Children’s Museum of Phoenix CEO, Kate Wells, followed by Kristi Yamaguchi and Kate Gallego, Phoenix Councilwoman for District 8.

Scheduled celebrity readers include: Kristi Yamaguchi, All-Pro Arizona Cardinals Wide Receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, former Phoenix Suns Center, Steven Hunter, the Phoenix Suns Gorilla and special performances by Disney Jr.’s Choo Choo Soul “with Genevieve!” Reading Adventures ends at approximately 2 p.m., however the museum will be open for play until 4 p.m.

“The Children’s Museum of Phoenix, along with parents, teachers, school and community organizations, play an important part in moving forward the early childhood education agenda in the Valley,” said Kate Wells. “Early literacy doesn’t mean early reading but rather emphasizes the natural unfolding of skills through the enjoyment of books, positive interactions between children and adults, and literacy-rich experiences. Our visitors experience this every time they visit the museum, and we are thrilled and thankful that ADF has chosen to sponsor this important event at the Museum, bringing early literacy to so many underserved children in the Valley.”

ADF’s mission is to inspire underserved children to reach for their dreams through innovative reading programs and by advancing the cause of early childhood literacy.  ADF is committed to the belief that literacy is the cornerstone from which all academic and life success is built.  A key element to the program is the introduction of digital tablets and eBooks in the classroom.  When paired with traditional books, tablets can reinforce literacy concepts and create a powerful connection to classroom content.

For more information about the event, check out the schedule for celebrity readings, performances meet and greets and other fun activities.