Press contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302

September 26, 2007

Center for the Book Announces 2007-2008 Letters About Literature Reading Promotion Program

Reading Promotion Grants Awarded to Communities, School Libraries of National Winners

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with Target Stores, invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to enter its Letters About Literature reading and writing competition for children and young adults. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, explaining how his or her work changed their view of the world or themselves. Young readers may select authors from any genre—fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic.

The deadline for entries for the 2007-2008 competition is December 14, 2007. To obtain the required entry coupon and a copy of "how to enter" guidelines, participants can visit the Letters About Literature Web site at www.loc.gov/letters or contact the national program director at lal@epix.net.

Judges representing each state center for the book will select the top essayists in the state in three competition levels: Level I for readers in grades 4 through 6; Level II for readers in grades 7 and 8; and Level III for readers in grades 9 through 12. Entries will be assessed according to three criteria: content, or the writer’s achievement in addressing the contest theme; exposition, or the writer’s use of language skills; and voice, or the writer’s style and originality of expression.

State winners will receive a $50 Target GiftCard and will then advance to the national competition. A panel of judges from the Center for the Book will select six national winners (two per competition level) and 12 national runners-up (four per competition level). Each national winner will receive a $500 Target GiftCard. In addition, they will receive a Reading Promotion Grant of $10,000 for their school or community library and will be instrumental in deciding how the library funds will be spent. Each national runner-up will receive a $100 Target GiftCard and a Reading Promotion Grant of $1,000 for his or her school or community library.

The program also offers free teaching materials to schools, libraries and home school partnerships, including lesson plans, blackline masters, writing samples and assessment checklists. These, too, are available by contacting the program director at lal@epix.net.

Target sponsors Letters About Literature as part of its commitment to supporting education and early childhood reading. Target recognizes the integral role that reading plays in shaping a child’s future, because reading is the foundation for lifelong learning and success. Since opening its doors, Target has given 5 percent of its income to organizations that support education, the arts, and safe families and communities. Today that translates to $3 million every week.

Letters About Literature is the Center for the Book’s premiere reading promotion program for young people. Last year, more than 55,000 young people from throughout the nation entered the competition.

The Center for the Book was established in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. For information about its activities and national reading promotion networks, visit www.loc.gov/cfbook/.

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PR 07-191
09/26/07
ISSN 0731-3527

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