Executive Document

This executive document was published in the 01/01/2005, issue, Vol. 2005, No. 1, of the Utah State Bulletin.

Governor, Administration: Governor's Executive Order 2004-0011: Creating the Utah Commission on Literacy

Issued: December 22, 2004


Creating the Utah Commission on Literacy

WHEREAS, reading is fundamental to a child's lifelong success;

WHEREAS, every adult can influence the life of a child by spending time reading with that child;

WHEREAS, parents can encourage literary achievement by setting realistic expectations for their children, providing reading instruction, responding to children's personal interests, and by reading with their children for twenty minutes daily;

WHEREAS, literacy experiences are more likely to occur in homes that have children's books and other reading and writing materials; and

WHEREAS, language experiences and language-rich environments have a positive effect on vocabulary development in children;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Olene S. Walker, Governor of the State of Utah, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the laws and Constitution of the state of Utah, hereby order the following:

1. There is created the Utah Commission on Literacy.

2. The purpose of the commission is to:

a. Maximize the percentage of Utah's children that read at or above grade level by the end of the third grade; and

b. Maximize the number of Utah's children that read with an adult at least twenty minutes every day.

3. In furtherance of these purposes the commission shall have the following duties and responsibilities:

a. Increase public awareness of the importance of reading and of learning to read well at an early age.

b. Encourage parents across the state to read with their children for an average of at least twenty minutes every day.

c. Establish and strengthen volunteer programs and services statewide to help individuals, particularly children, to build reading skills.

d. Help form partnerships of families, schools, businesses, volunteers, organizations, and communities to help accomplish the purposes of the commission.

e. Develop public media campaigns, community relations activities, education projects, and additional resources in order to accomplish the purposes of the commission.

f. Act as a clearinghouse for information, materials, learning opportunities, services, programs, networking and other literacy resources.

g. Advocate for literacy generally and for the specific purposes of the commission.

4. The commission shall consist of at least fifteen, and no more than twenty-five, members appointed by the governor, including:

a. The governor's deputy for education;

b. A representative from the Utah State Office of Education;

c. A representative from the Utah Commission on Volunteers;

d. A representative from the Office of Ethnic Affairs;

e. A representative of the Parent Teacher Association;

f. A member of the Utah House of Representatives;

g. A member of the Utah State Senate;

h. A representative of the Utah Education Association;

i. A representative of a Utah public library;

j. Remaining members shall be selected from a broad cross section of the state representing local school districts, colleges and universities, adult education, literacy specialists, the business community, local media, political subdivisions of the state, service groups, faith-based groups, and members of the general public with a demonstrated interest in literacy programs.

5. Members shall be appointed to serve four-year terms, except that the initial terms shall be staggered so that approximately half of the commission is appointed every two years. Members may be reappointed to additional consecutive terms.

6. When a vacancy occurs in the membership for any reason, the governor shall appoint a replacement to fill the remainder of the unexpired term.

7. The governor shall either appoint one member as chair of the commission or two members to serve as co-chairs. The First Lady or First Gentleman shall be invited to serve as the Honorary Chair of the commission.

8. Members of the commission shall serve without per diem or other expenses.

9. A majority of commission members shall constitute a quorum for conducting commission business. All action shall be by a simple majority vote of meeting attendees, if a quorum is present.

10. The commission shall meet at least quarterly, but may meet as often as necessary to achieve the objectives outlined in this order.

11. The commission may establish subcommittees and working groups to accomplish its purposes.

12. The commission is encouraged to utilize the services of the governor's expert panel of advisors in matters of scientific research and best practices relating to literacy and to coordinate activities with the Utah Reads Alliance.

13. The commission shall prepare a brief annual report for the governor.

14. The commission does not have the authority to require the expenditure of public funds.

15. This order supercedes and replaces Executive Order 2003/0013, "Creating the Utah Commission on Literacy".

16. This order shall remain in effect until revoked or supplanted by executive order.

IN WITNESS, WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Utah. Done at the Capitol Complex in Salt Lake City, Utah, this 22nd day of December, 2004.


(State Seal)


Lieutenant Governor


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For questions regarding the content or application of this document, please contact the Governor's Office (801-538-1000).