Library partnership will address child literacy
Heights Libraries has joined seven other Northeast Ohio libraries to help young people in Greater Cleveland who have fallen behind in their literacy skills due the COVID-19 pandemic.
The partnership program, Cuyahoga Reads, will focus on helping children and their families form positive and consistent reading habits, foster a love for reading, and equip young people and families with the literacy skills necessary for future success.
The program is funded by the Ohio Department of Education’s Libraries Accelerating Learning grant, which is designed to help libraries create or expand literacy programs for Ohio’s Pre-K through 12th-grade students.
To accelerate student learning, part of the funding was used to hire Making a Difference Consulting, which analyzed the Ohio Department of Education school report card data, and conducted focus groups and community surveys at each library system to tailor literacy support based upon the needs of K-12 students in each community. That support will include special weekly programs that will directly address child and teen literacy in the Heights community.
This month, Heights residents will start to see Cuyahoga Reads signage on buses, trains and select bus shelters, created in partnership with locally based Lamar Advertising and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. The designs include a QR code that will take residents directly to the Cuyahoga Reads Reading Challenge page, courtesy of Cleveland-based eBook and audiobook company Overdrive, where users can download books right away.
The program will officially kick off on Saturday, Aug. 5, with an event at the Great Lakes Science Center (GLSC) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There, families can sign up for the Cuyahoga Reads reading challenge with their library and engage in fun literacy-based activities. Admission to the GLSC is free for the event.
Cuyahoga Reads will continue through December 2024, with the timing of the program designed to keep the momentum gained from summer reading programs going strong into the fall and throughout next year.
More information about Cuyahoga Reads can be found at www.cuyahogareads.org or by contacting one of the eight participating libraries: Heights Libraries, Cleveland Public Library, East Cleveland Public Library, Euclid Public Library, Lakewood Public Library, Rocky River Public Library, Shaker Public Library and Westlake Public Library.
Sheryl Banks is the communications manager for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.