The Knoxville Area Association of Realtors (KAAR) has partnered with Read City USA and Little Free Library to help decrease illiteracy in Knox and surrounding counties. In October, members of KAAR built 13 Little Free Libraries.
These libraries are stocked and maintained by area realtors and brokerages.
Our goal was five libraries, and by the end of the day, we had 13 libraries sponsored. These libraries will be placed around the 12-county region that KAAR serves.
In November, Mayor Glenn Jacobs met with KAAR members. “Only about 33% of third graders across the state are proficient at the third grade reading level,” he said. This means 2/3 of students are not reading at grade level. “For our future, it is important that our young people learn to read early, and well.”
Those in attendance were asked to bring books. Hundreds of books were received for the Little Free Libraries, and to be donated to the Knoxville community. One of the libraries built was also on display.
“One of the issues we face is access to reading materials.” Jacobs said. “What KAAR (and their membership) is doing by building and installing Little Free Libraries is awesome! It makes it easier for everyone to have access to books and that is very important.”
At the end of the reception, the mayor sat with two children in attendance, and read a book to them. KAAR is not stopping with building libraries. The membership is also logging their reading hours with Read City USA.
I remember my mom and grandmother reading to me as a child. It played a pivotal role in my academic journey. Read City USA has a goal of one million hours read by the residents of Knox County by the end of the year. You can find more information about Read City USA here.
Jeff Fyke is communications director, Knoxville Area Association of Realtors.