Proclamation 5920 -- Year of the Young Reader, 1989


December 5, 1988


By the President of the United States of America


A Proclamation


Reading is one of the most important activities any child can engage in, and potentially one of the most enjoyable too. For all of us, and especially for youngsters, reading is a key to past, present, and future -- a path into virtually limitless treasures of knowledge and inspiration. Reading encourages wonder about the world, broadens awareness of others, and offers clues about the meaning of life. It helps transmit our cultural legacy and fosters inner resources of spirit, intellect, and imagination. Children and young adults need and deserve the gift, joy, and promise of reading, and a year of special national observance in recognition of this truth is most appropriate.


Nurturing a love of reading in children is crucial for their personal growth and well-being and for the continued health and vigor of our communities and country. Now as always, America needs a literate and knowledgeable citizenry fully conversant with and determined to defend our heritage of liberty and learning.


We can all help young readers discover the blessings and the enjoyment that reading offers. Parents can read aloud to their children. Families and schools can make reading materials a familiar part of youngsters' surroundings and can suggest regular visits to libraries. Educators and concerned citizens can redouble their efforts to ensure that students remain in school and that literacy programs for people of all ages are available in their areas. Each of us can give young people the good example of reading ourselves. We can explain the freedom we Americans enjoy to read and write and study as we like. If we do all of these things, we will go a long way toward awakening among every young reader the understanding that reading is a thrilling, lifetime journey into new worlds of adventure, history, heritage, and far frontiers. That will be an inestimable service to our Nation.


The Congress, by Public Law 100 - 662, has designated 1989 as ``Year of the Young Reader'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this year.


Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim 1989 as Year of the Young Reader. I call upon parents and educators, librarians and publishers, interested private organizations and businesses, government officials, and all Americans to observe this year with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.


In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.


Ronald Reagan


[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:37 a.m., December 6, 1988]