AR Kids Read will launch the 2014 calendar year by giving away 3,000 books at six elementary schools in Pulaski County; the school selection was based on the concentration of low-income students and participation in the AR Kids Read program.

Today, at 1 p.m., Warren Dupree Elementary School in Jacksonville will be hosting one of the events.

These events are in partnership with the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the lead organization in Arkansas’ Grade-Level Reading initiative and also the lead funding organization.

Each school will hold an assembly of kindergarten through third grade students, about 200 to 300 kids at each school. Every student will receive a new book.

Assemblies will last for only 15 minutes.

Each assembly will include surprise appearances by Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Cat in the Hat and WordGirl, PBS kids’ favorites.

Books will be distributed by local business leaders who have engaged their employees as reading tutors in the three Pulaski County districts.

Following the assembly, Clifford and the Cat in the Hat will visit the kindergarten through third grade classrooms for more interaction with the students.