Celebrating reading! AMERICA READS to mark 20th Year

August 26, 2016 10:59 AM

Our AMERICA READS: Reading is Contagious event is celebrating its 20th year this fall. The program is designed to shine a spotlight on the importance of reading to young children to improve literacy and demonstrate the joy of reading through collective citizen involvement. In the Cedar Rapids metro area, it has become an annual fall tradition, bringing hundreds of volunteers into area schools to share a favorite book with students. AMERICA READS: Reading Is Contagious 2016 will be held Oct. 20-21.

Developed and launched in 1997, the initiative is a collaborative effort between the Cedar Rapids Community, College Community, Linn-Mar, Marion Independent, and Xavier Catholic school districts, as well Summit School and the five public libraries: Cedar Rapids, Ely, Fairfax, Hiawatha, and Marion. Local businesses and organizations provide financial support.

More than 2,500 guest readers visited elementary schools over the two-day period in October 2015. Some 16,000 students benefited from exposure to the enthusiastic readers. Volunteer readers include everyone from parents and middle, high school and college students to school neighbors, senior citizens, business people and local “celebrities”. The community readers share their love of reading by doing just that—each volunteer read a favorite story to a child, a small group of children or to an entire classroom of students.

Numerous studies indicate that children who have been read to on a regular basis are the ones who become good readers. Reading just 30 minutes a day with a child can significantly increase a child’s reading ability.

By sharing a story, AMERICA READS volunteers also celebrate their own love of reading with students. That special book might just become someone else’s favorite! After all, reading is contagious!”

Register by Oct. 1 for AMERICA READS: Reading is Contagious 2016 - Here

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