Way back in January, Mayor Glenn Jacobs took to the stage at the Bijou Theatre to challenge our community to read one million hours in 2023 as part of his Read City USA initiative. On December 9, we will close out that challenge with more than 1.3 million hours logged! Congrats, Knox County!
For those who haven’t logged yet, there’s a little time to get it in. Logging retroactively counts. All the details are available here.
So far, more than 5,300 people have participated individually with another 4,000 readers participating as part of a group. They have earned 80,000+ badges and read 28,000 books. Plus 30,000 students participated in One Book Read City last May by reading Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro. The Knox County Public Library saw an incredible interest in reading additional books in the Zoey and Sassafras series.
Reaching a big reading goal always feels great, but the biggest winner is our kids. With our third-grade reading rate hovering around 42%, our community is coming up beside the schools to support literacy as a shared value.
The combined efforts of programs like Read City with other programs like Imagination Library, innovative approaches to reading curriculum, additional resources for tutoring and enrichment activities are starting to move the needle. Check outs at the library have exceeded three million items. Whatever we’re doing, we need to keep doing it!
Mary Pom Claiborne is assistant director for marketing, communications and development for Knox County Public Library.