New Literacy Program Launches at Kenai Municipal Airport
Both airplanes and books have the ability to take people on journeys. Now with the help of a new reading program called Read On the Fly, children can take their imagination to the skies while traveling Alaska.
On Friday, April 13th a group made up of representatives from the Kenai Municipal Airport, Kenai Library, and a travel journalist will gather to launch the eighth Read On the Fly bookshelf in Alaska.
“We are very excited to partner with AKonthe Go and the Kenai Library to provide books to children traveling through the Kenai Airport. Children will be able to either read while waiting for their flight or select a book to read on their trip. This is a wonderful opportunity to promote literacy and allow families to read together,” stated Airport Manager Mary Bondurant.
Read On the Fly's goal is to increase literacy among Alaska children by encouraging them to pick up a book instead of an electronic device before, during or after a flight, according to its website, ReadOnTheFly.com. The idea originated from Alaska travel writer and journalist Erin Kirkland of Anchorage.
"As a travel writer, I fly through Alaska's airports very frequently, and I noticed, especially in our more rural communities, kids are very much running amok and there's not really anything for them to do. So I started looking at literacy rates, which are pretty low for Alaska. Are our kids ready for school? Not really, especially in the rural areas," Kirkland said. Lack of reading at home and school readiness preparation from preschools are contributing factors, she said. Kids are welcome to take a book from the shelf to keep, with no expectation of returning it, Kirkland added.
Books placed on Read On the Fly shelves are donated, with restocking and sorting efforts managed by an all-volunteer force based at Kenai Municipal Airport. Books for the Kenai airport program are sourced from the Kenai Library, or can be donated to the Airport Administrative Office at 305 N. Willow St. Ste. 200 Kenai, AK 99611.
The April 13th event will begin promptly at 3 p.m. and will feature children's activities, refreshments and a short presentation and ribbon-cutting ceremony. All families in Kenai are encouraged to attend.