Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne touts importance of early childhood literacy
Ferdinand the Bull was Lynne's favorite story book
Steamboat Springs — Colorado Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne sat down in the sun-splashed children’s story time room at the Bud Werner Memorial Library Sept. 29 and read the book “Giraffes Can’t Dance,” to a rapt audience of pre-schoolers.
The book tells the story of a young giraffe who thinks he can’t cut a rug because his legs are skinny and his knees are crooked, until an admirer changes his outlook.
Lynne was in Steamboat Springs Thursday in the midst of a short tour of the state with officials from the state agency, Serve Colorado. Their mission was to promote the benefits of early childhood literacy and share innovations in the field.
Citing the lack of full-day kindergarten through much of the state and the high cost of early childhood preschool for low-income families, Lynne said emphasizing the joy of reading to youngsters is a high priority.
“We’ve got to start children reading early,” she said, adding that she was pleased to see mothers and fathers holding their children in their laps as she read “Giraffes Can’t Dance.”
Parents who don’t rely solely on teachers and youth librarians to read to their kids send a strong non-verbal message, she said.
Bud Werner Memorial Library Digital Services Librarian Alysa Selby, accompanied by Steamboat Springs City Council members Kathi Meyer and Heather Sloop, gave Lynne and her entourage a tour of the library. Selby praised the success Youth Services Librarian Sara Kostin has had in attracting families to her wing of Bud Werner.
Lynne was appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper to succeed Joe Garcia as lieutenant governor in March and unanimously confirmed by the state legislature May 4. She was previously a high-ranking executive with Kaiser Permanente in Colorado and, earlier in her career, worked for both Republican and Democratic mayors with the city of New York.
Lynne said she has promised to visit all 64 counties in Colorado early in her tenure, and Routt County represented number 38.
Asked what her favorite story book was as a child, Lynne didn’t hesitate to name “Ferdinand the Bull.” But when it came to reading a story to her own three children, she said, “Don and Donna Go to Bat,” was her favorite because of its message of empowering young girls.
“Don and Donna are twins, and Don plays on the baseball team,” Lynne said. One day, Donna was watching a pivotal baseball game when her brother was hurt and had to come out of the lineup. Donna came out of the bleachers to hit the game-wining home run.
“Giraffes Can’t Dance,” was written by Giles Anddreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees. It was available in both English and Spanish language versions at the library Thursday.
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