Staff Report

LAUDERHILL — The Children’s Services Council of Broward County (CSC) will partner with local businesses, non-profit organizations and other community stakeholders to make an impact on the literacy development of nearly 40,000 of Broward’s youngest residents.

On October 21, readers including teachers, parents, caregivers, local officials, and older children will participate in reading Bunny Cakes a comical story of sibling bonding and birthday shenanigans. The campaign goal in Broward is to ensure that every four and five-year-old gets a copy of the book to take home.

The CSC estimates the number is just under 40,000, including students from 500 voluntary pre-Kindergarten centers, 225 schools and 1,500 classrooms.

At its August monthly meeting, the CSC approved up to $130,000

to purchase books for Broward Reads for the Record, the local effort based on the national campaign that celebrates literacy by mobilizing millions of children and adults to read the same book on the same day.

Broward Reads for the Record will kick off the CSC’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to provide resources to assist children who suffer the most from the education achievement gap.

Several local celebrity readers will be deployed throughout the county: Miami Dolphins players will read at Davie Elementary; Ron McGill of Miami Zoo will be at New Mirawood Academy; others include former Florida Sen. Nan Rich, members of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie.

“With this broad effort, we can help remind and educate the community about the importance of early literacy and its link to ensuring success in school and beyond,” said Cindy Arenberg Seltzer, CSC president and chief executive officer.

Andrew Leone, assistant communications director, said the program is aimed at 4 and 5 year olds in all Pre-K and Kindergarten classes in Broward.

“This is a critical age in ensuring children are able to attain and maintain grade level reading abilities moving forward,” Leone said. “It is also a time when it is easiest to instill and foster a life-long love of reading.”

CSC officials point to data that shows reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. Yet every year, Leone said, more than 80 percent of low-income children miss this crucial milestone. By participating in this endeavor, the CSC is committing to help turn the curve on this issue so that every child in Broward will read at grade level.

 To volunteer for Broward Reads, or for more information about the Children’s Services Council of Broward County call 954-377-1000 or visit