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Colorado's Youngest Readers Getting 'Groovy' With Free Book

Eric Litwin
Every four-year-old in Colorado can receive a free Enligh or Spanish copy of "Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown."

“Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown” is the 2018 One Book 4 Colorado winner. The book, chosen specifically for 4-year-olds, was announced by Gov. John Hickenlooper at the state Capitol this week.

At the event, Hickenlooper told a group of preschoolers that he wants to make sure they know how to read and grow to love reading.

“It’s not just to broaden knowledge but it develops confidence, it helps you be able to communicate with your friends and your parents more successfully and it propels you to success in all kinds of other subjects,” he said.

Every year since 2012, One Book 4 Colorado has given a free book to 4-year-olds. “Groovy Joe: Dance Party Countdown” by Eric Litwin and Tom Lichtenheld was voted this year’s title by state residents. Any book that is age appropriate, published in English and Spanish and from a large publisher can be submitted to the contest. Librarians and early childhood educators vote to narrow the selection down to three finalists. The ultimate winner is chosen by the public.

Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne said it’s essential the book have English and Spanish versions.

“It’s important everybody read, whatever their language is,” she said. “We want to bridge the gap that exists in some families and build a culture in Colorado that gives everyone an opportunity to share in our vibrancy.”

75,000 free copies of the book will be available at libraries across the state until April 23.

The “American Dream” was coined in 1931 and since then the phrase has inspired people to work hard and dream big. But is it achievable today? Graduating from college is challenging, jobs are changing, and health care and basic rights can be a luxury. I report on the barriers people face and overcome to succeed and create a better life for themselves and their families.
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