Leaders gearing up for ‘Celebrate Reading Week!’ & READ JAX Campaign in Duval County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There is a community-wide push to improve reading and literacy skills for local children. March 21-25, 2022 is “Celebrate Reading Week!” in Jacksonville. Organizers with the Kids Hope Alliance and the Jacksonville Public Education Fund say the goal is to help improve third-grade reading proficiency and literacy for local youth.

According to research compiled into the Florida Gap Map, ), more than 60 elementary schools in Duval County had 3rd Grade reading scores lower than 50, which means less than half of the students in the school were reading at their grade level.

“Celebrate Reading Week!” also includes a new campaign called READ JAX which starts on March 23. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, Duval Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene, and several local organizations have joined forces for READ JAX to make sure children are reading at their grade level in Duval County.

You can find information on how to purchase a ticket to the READ JAX Kick-off Luncheon here: Registration Options (donorperfect.net)

Massachusetts-based author and literacy advocate Ty Allan Jackson will be the keynote speaker for the READ JAX kick-off luncheon on March 23.

Action News Jax spoke to Ty via ZOOM about why he believes it is so important to make sure our young people have strong literacy skills and develop a passion for reading.

He said, “I don’t think there’s anything outside of love, more important that we can instill in our children than the power of reading. Illiteracy is the panacea for most of the things that ail our country from high unemployment to teen pregnancy to drug use. It’s all directly connected to illiteracy, not to mention reading is just the most fun form of entertainment. There are so many amazing by-products to the power of reading!”

Ty will also be in Jacksonville during “Celebrate Reading Week!” On March 22nd, Ty will also be visiting several sites across Jacksonville including the Boys & Girls Club Teen Center on East 10th Street and the Highlands Branch of the library off Dunn Ave for a literacy chat with the students on his books “Make Your Own Money” and “Supadupa Kid.”

To find more information on “Celebrate Reading Week!,” the READ JAX campaign, and Author Ty Allan Jackson’s visit to Jacksonville, see the press release below.