“20 minutes a day paves the way.”
That’s the slogan Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan said was created for a year-long push to improve literacy among school-aged children.
Deegan said less than half of third graders are reading on grade level — a fact that encouraged the mayor to want to tackle literacy issues under her administration.
“It’s really a big deal,” Deegan said. “We know when we have children who can learn to read at grade level that they’re going to stay out of trouble more. They’re going to have more opportunities for good jobs. They’re going to have a better quality of life and ultimately, that benefits all of us.”
River City Readers challenges students to track how many minutes they read daily. The goal is to complete at least 20 minutes — although students are encouraged to go even further!
Participating students will need to download the BeanStack app to log reading minutes.
“If we can make it fun and get kids involved in reading, we really believe that we can start to impact poverty in our city,” Deegan said.
At the end of the year, the city’s top young readers will be awarded with prizes.
The official kickoff celebration is Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Main Library Downtown from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free parking will be offered at the Duval garage, and young readers will receive free books to help them jump-start the challenge.
Parents, caregivers and children are invited to attend.
Register for the event at jacksonville.gov.