February 8, 2000
Director, Communications & Public Information
Children Encouraged to Read About Heroes; Their Reviews Shared on the Web
BOSTON: What makes a hero in the eyes of a young person? And who are those heroes? Logging on to a new Internet Web site will reveal some of those answers. Children all over the state have been responding to an invitation on the Open Books, Find Heroes Web site to submit written descriptions of heroes, fictional or real, that they have read about in books, telling the reasons why they are admired, and have these published on the Web site. The responses so far have been wide-ranging, from the adventuresome Harry Potter to north pole explorers to Martin Luther King. Historical and contemporary figures are cited, and even a courageous dog comes in for his share of hero worship. Lauren, 11, admires an 1800s girl who changes people's minds about women's capabilities, and Nichole, 10, likes the Chinese mother whose love proves the wisdom of the old (61!).
All children who contribute these brief reviews between now and February 29th will receive a special certificate of recognition signed by Governor Paul Cellucci and will also be invited to a reception to be held at the State House in Boston on Wednesday, April 5th. Children who do not have Internet access at home are encouraged to use the computers at their public libraries.
An outgrowth of the Governor's Character Education Initiative, Open Books, Find Heroes is a cooperative project sponsored by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the six regional library systems, Massachusetts Department of Education, Massachusetts Library Association and Massachusetts School Library Media Association. School and public libraries throughout the state have joined in this effort to encourage children to read and reflect on the admirable character traits found in heroes and share these thoughts with other children via the Web.
Other features of the Web site include an annotated bibliography of recommended books arranged by themes such as empathy, kindness, honesty and forgiveness, and a list of innovative youth programs around the state involving school and public libraries.
Editors Note: This Web site is no longer available.
The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.