History of the Alaska Guys Read Gals Read Programs

2006
The original program concept was developed by librarian Greg Hill as a method of attracting families and exposing them to modern public library services. Ann Shortt, superintendent of the Fairbanks North Star Borough District schools, was concerned about boy’s reading scores dropping precipitously around grade 4, and supported trying Guys Read if it would focus on 4th graders.
The program was piloted at three Title 1 schools, where the students’ response was so enthusiastic it was immediately apparent that Guys Read’s greatest effect was on demonstrating how much fun reading can be.

2007
Guys Read began the school year at 10 of the 18 Fairbanks District elementary schools offering 4th grade. Midway through the school year, the principals of the other 8 schools asked to be included.

2008
Guys Read received a grant from the Alaska State Library to promote the program around the state and to develop a program-in-a-box starter kits and a downloadable program manual.

2009
Guys Read programs began in 6 Alaskan communities.

2010
Gals Read program initiated at all 18 Fairbanks District elementary schools.
The Literacy Council of Alaska becomes a partner to deliver Gals Read in the Fairbanks District?.
Guys Read wins the Academic Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties.

2013
Guys Read becomes a Fairbanks Library Foundation project.
Gals Read becomes a Literacy Council of Alaska project.
Guys Read wins the first Innovations in Literacy Award from the Public Library Association

2016
Literacy Council of Alaska loses grant funding to support Gals Read staff.
Guys Read Gals Read Inc. receive 501c3 non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service.
Guys Read program begins at Queen Anne’s County MD public library.

SO FAR
11,000+ 4th graders attended Guys and Gals Read programs
2,500+ books donated to local school libraries