AR Kids Read is launching the 2014 calendar year by giving away 3,000 books at six elementary schools in Pulaski County; the schools selected were based a high concentration of low-income students and participation in the AR Kids Read program. Maumelle’s Pine Forest Elementary is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m.

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, Stacy Sells, director of AR Kids Read said.

Details about the six assemblies:

• Each school will hold an assembly of K-3rd grade students involving about 200 to 300 kids at each school. Every student will receive a new book, Sells said.

• 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 K-3 classrooms for more interaction with the students.

The remaining schedule of launch events is:

Thursday – 9 a.m.

Pine Forest Elementary, 400 Pine Forest Drive, Maumelle

Thursday – 1 p.m.

Warren Dupree Elementary, 700 Gregory St., Jacksonville

Wednesday, Jan. 22 - 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Chicot Elementary, 11100 Chicot Road, Mabelvale

Wednesday, Jan. 22 – 1 p.m.

Mabelvale Elementary, 9401 Mabelvale Cut Off Road