Mayor's Summer Reading Club Promotes Literacy, Learning and Creativity Among Atlanta Children

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As the school year comes to an end, the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club kicks off to help Atlanta children strengthen vocabulary, reading skills and creativity during the months of summer vacation. Led by the City of Atlanta and the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club will distribute 15,000 free books to Atlanta children birth through age eight, as well as resources to help parents teach their children to read- learn more at mayorsreadingclub.org

As the school year comes to an end, the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club kicks off to help Atlanta children strengthen vocabulary, reading skills and creativity during the months of summer vacation. Led by the City of Atlanta and the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), and supported by PNC Grow Up Great, the United Way of Greater Atlanta and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club will distribute 15,000 free books to Atlanta students birth through age eight, as well as resources to help parents teach their children to read.

“The Mayor’s Summer Reading Club has helped thousands of Atlanta’s children and family members improve their literacy skills and ignite their passion for reading,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Now in its third year, the program, supported by my administration, valuable partners and Atlanta-based organizations, is increasing its reach, and inspiring more young ones to fall in love with reading. Research shows that children who read during the summer months perform better on achievement testing and are better prepared for the school year. It is my hope that the program continues to grow, and further support one of my top priorities—investing in our city’s children.”

“Dad, Jackie and Me,” by Myron Uhlberg & Colin Bootman; “Amari’s Shining Moment,” by the Rollins Center for Language & Literacy at the Atlanta Speech School; and “The Pigeon has Feelings, Too!” by Mo Willems will be distributed for free to families at more than 100 fun-filled reading events at Atlanta libraries, museums, farmers’ markets and other institutions over the summer. At the events, books will come to life as children enjoy reading, arts, crafts and drama activities designed to spark the imagination.

“Reading to young children is a critical component to building literacy and learning skills that will last a lifetime,” said Mindy Binderman, executive director of the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS). “By providing free books, literacy coaches, and other resources for parents and children, the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club enables children to learn during the summer months and enter school in the fall ready to succeed.”

The Mayor’s Summer Reading Club will kick-off on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at Imagine It: The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, where Sarah-Elizabeth Reed will read “Amari’s Shining Moment” to children, families and caregivers. To learn more about this and other Mayor’s Summer Reading Club events, visit mayorsreadingclub.org.

Children and families also can participate in the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club’s Read Believe Video Competition to win free prizes! Using a smart phone, families can create a one-minute video of themselves reading or enacting a scene from one of the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club books. Families can then share their video on social media, tagging Mayor’s Summer Reading Club on Facebook or Twitter and using #ReadBelieveATL. 10 videos will be chosen, and creators will win tickets to Atlanta sports events and passes to landmarks and museums. The winning videos also will be shown at the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club closing event at the High Museum of Art on Saturday, August 1, 2015. Learn more at mayorsreadingclub.org.

About GEEARS
The Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) was established in 2010 to help business, civic and government leaders maximize the economic return on the state’s investments in early care and learning. Guided by a growing body of research documenting the high-dollar return on investment associated with early learning and care, GEEARS is working to position Georgia as a national leader in ensuring that all children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed and on a path to read to learn by third grade.

About PNC Grow Up Great
Founded by The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., PNC Grow Up Great is a $350 million, multi-year initiative that began in 2004 to help prepare children from birth to age five for success in school and life. Through Grow Up Great, PNC emphasizes the importance of the first five years of life, which research has shown is critical to long-term achievement, by helping families, educators and community partners provide innovative opportunities that enhance learning and development in a child's early years. PNC offers leadership, advocacy, funding, volunteers and educational resources because we believe that an investment in our children now makes good economic sense and plants the seeds for the dynamic workforce of tomorrow. For more information, please visit

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Stephanie Libby
HL Strategy
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