2023 Read City tour kicks off

The challenge hopes to encourage children, parents, educators and institutions to read more.
Encouraging children, parents, educators, and institutions to read more
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 8:47 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - On Tuesday, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs launched the 2023 million-hour reading challenge at the Historic Bijou Theatre.

The theme for this year’s challenge is “All Together Now!” There are three challenges associated with the tour:

  1. Find Your Voice: runs from Jan. 24 through April 8.
  2. Feel the Beat: runs from May 20 through Aug. 5
  3. Let’s Play: runs from Sept. 30 through Dec. 9.

During each challenge, participants must read and log 36 hours, or 30 minutes a day. Participants can read whatever they want during the challenge, but Knox County Public Library officials recommended some books based on age group.

Keith Brown and his jazz students at the University of Tennessee, dancers from Go! Contemporary Danceworks, Read City Singers and illustrator Daniel Wiseman kicked off the opening event.

Mary Pom-Claiborne, Assistant Director of Marketing for the Public Library, said this challenge is not just for the children in the community.

“It’s for everybody, you know. When parents read, the kids are watching them. It shows that’s a good role model. It’s just creating a culture of reading overall,” said Pom-Claiborne.

Participants who complete all three challenges will automatically be entered in a grand prize drawing to win a gaming system, iPad or a party with Jacobs. Rules and eligibility requirements can be found on the Knox County Public Library website.

Other prizes include an inflatable microphone for tots, a building block Lego instrument for children ages 6 and up and a library notepad for teens and adults.

“I’m excited to bring this event to the community as a celebration of reading,” said Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. “We’re working with groups, businesses, schools and families to illustrate Knox County’s commitment to literacy.”

Read City USA was started in 2018 to help promote literacy. Only $34.7% of Tennessee’s third graders are meeting reading level standards.

The challenge hopes to encourage all children to read and love to read.

To sign up for the challenge and find a reading log, visit the Knox County Public Library website.