Children being read a holiday book at University of the Pacific

A University-wide book drive for Reach Out and Read (ROAR) San Joaquin is being launched by President Eibeck as part of Pacific's holiday celebration. Called Holiday Roar, the event will culminate with a campus-wide celebration that will include a sweater contest, food and the University's official tree lighting ceremony.

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From the Presidents Office

Pacific Celebrates the Holidays with a ROAR

Oct 18, 2012

President Pamela Eibeck is launching Holiday ROAR, a University-wide book drive for Reach Out and Read (ROAR) San Joaquin, an organization that collects new and gently-used children's books and uses a network of dedicated physicians to get those books in the hands of underprivileged children. Volunteers at the doctors' offices then help families become more comfortable reading with their children.

The book drive will launch Oct. 22 with donation bins being set up in the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center. A candy-cane thermometer in the DeRosa Center will be used to track donations, with a goal of 1,000 children's books. If the goal is reached by Nov. 27, students will be treated to a special surprise from President Eibeck during the annual De-Stress fest held in early December.

On Nov. 27, President Eibeck will host a holiday party for all students, faculty, staff and their families in the DeRosa Center. That event will include music, comfort food, a "craziest holiday sweater" contest, a ceremony marking the end of the book drive, and the lighting of Pacific's Holiday Tree. Students and employees are encouraged to bring their children to the party. The winner of the sweater contest will receive $100 to be used for a holiday party for an on-campus organization or department of their choice.

The purpose of Holiday ROAR is to bring the University community together during the holidays while also benefitting our larger community through the support of early literacy, one of the prime objectives of the Beyond Our Gates Community Council.

"We know that literacy rates by the third grade are a key indicator for future success," Eibeck said. "This is an inexpensive and fun way for the Pacific community to contribute directly to Stockton and help families help their children learn to love books. The children will get these books during their check-ups - I like to think of them as a form of inoculation. Instead of giving them a flu or measles vaccine, we are giving them a shot of knowledge and a chance at a better future."

Last month, the Beyond our Gates Community Council launched its Reading by Third campaign with the goal of increasing the number of children who can read proficiently by the end of the third grade.  Studies have indicated that after the third grade, children are required to be able to read proficiently in order to keep up with other subject matters. Without that proficiency, those children will fall further behind every year, with little chance of catching up.

During the next month, Pacific's students, faculty and staff will be asked to donate books for children. Reach out and Read San Joaquin focuses on kids ages 6 months to 5 years, giving a new picture book to patients at all well-child visits and giving parents ideas for how to support literacy at home. Books for older children are also welcome. These are sent to clinic waiting areas where older siblings can enjoy them. All the donations will be distributed to children in San Joaquin County. Both new and used books will be accepted, provided the used books are still intact and do not show extensive wear and tear. The book drive needs as many non-English-language books as possible, particularly books in Spanish and Asian languages.

ROAR trains doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and to give books to children at pediatric checkups from 6 months to 5 years of age, with a special focus on children growing up in poverty. The organization is a non-profit national pediatric early literacy program. For more information visit the National Center website at www.reachoutandread.org.

More information about Holiday Roar can be found on the President's web site.