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Posted by Diana Jones on 04/04/2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                  April 4, 2012



 Candice Rennels (405) 425-0298, (405) 412-6172, cell or [email protected]

Tara Henson (405) 425-0219, (405) 919-9038, cell or [email protected]



Bow WOW it’s time for Read Across Oklahoma at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Get ready for a doggone good time at this annual children’s event happening on Tuesday, April 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children 11 and under will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of fun activities that promote reading and literacy. Plus the first 2,000 children 11 and under to attend will receive a free book courtesy of Target!

Read Across Oklahoma is not your typical zoo day. Little ones will enjoy interactive literacy stations, learning dance moves to the children’s favorite “B-I-N-G-O, Was His Name-O” from Capitol Hill High School and Metro Technology Centers student volunteers, attending story time sessions in the Children’s Zoo at Grandma’s Porch, temporary tattoos, meeting Bullseye, the Target dog, Penny, the Zoo’s elephant mascot and popular PBS Kids characters Clifford the Big Red Dog and Super Why!, and more. Event itineraries will be available at the front entrance.

Adding to the day’s excitement, event goers are invited to attend a special performance in the Zoo’s Aquaticus Show Arena featuring Oklahoma’s own Ree Drummond. Ree, who is otherwise known as the Pioneer Woman, is an award-winning blogger and bestselling author who will be reading her new children’s book “Charlie the Ranch Dog” to guests at 10 a.m. and noon. Charlie is Ree’s bacon-loving basset hound who lives with Ree and her family on their working ranch near Pawhuska. Children’s band Spaghetti Eddie (aka Brendan Parker and Todd Parsons) will perform kid-friendly music at each show including a new song custom-wrote for Read Across Oklahoma. Seating for the shows is limited.

Ree may not be available to sign autographs during the event but her books will be available for purchase in the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop. Copies of Spaghetti Eddie’s CDs will also be on sale in the gift shop.   

Event activities are free with zoo admission thanks to financial and volunteer support from Target. The complimentary books will be given out in the Global Plaza. 

Read Across Oklahoma is a part of the statewide Ready to Learn initiative coordinated by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and OETA-The Oklahoma Network. This program promotes literacy and helps build the foundation for a lifetime of learning specifically targeting preschool children who may be at-risk for low literacy.

Sponsor partners of Read Across Oklahoma 2012 include Target, Capitol Hill High School FCCLA & ROTC, Krueger Charitable Foundation, Metro Technology Centers, OETA-The Oklahoma Network, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, OZS ZooFriends, Rotary International and The Zoo.

Storytelling, singing, dancing–there’s something fun for everyone at Read Across Oklahoma. Visit Oklahoma’s #1 attraction and one of the top three zoos in the country as named in the 2012 10Besties Readers' Choice Travel Awards! The Oklahoma City Zoo is a proud member of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35 in. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Buildings close at 4:45 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children ages three-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Become a Zoo fan at or follow us on Twitter @okczoo. To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit


About the author:  Ree Drummond is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Ree's beloved website, was founded in 2006 and showcases her cooking, photography, and anecdotes about country life. Her cooking show, The Pioneer Woman, premiered on Food Network in 2011. Ree loves Ethel Merman songs, Toni Collette, and Gone With the Wind, and lives on aworking cattle ranch in Oklahoma with her husband and four children.

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The Zoo is a fully accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Association of Museums (AAM) as both a living museum and a botanical garden. AZA accredited facilities are dedicated to providing excellent care for their plants and animals, a great experience for guests and a better future for all living things.

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