Read Across America Day – March 2nd

 NEOReads2March 2nd, 2016 is Read Across America Day. It is a day, created by the National Education Association, where everyone across the country picks up a book and reads together. It is a day to raise awareness about the importance of reading and literacy. We at The Literacy Cooperative along with a number of organizations across the area are joining together to show the rest of the country how much Northeast Ohio values literacy.

Want to join in the celebration? Love to read? Understand how important literacy is to the growth and well-being of our city? Here are some ideas of ways you can show your love for reading on March 2nd!

  • Read Together– Grab friends, family members or coworkers, the books you are all currently reading and sit down and read together. Whether it is during you lunch break, before work or school or as a way to unwind at night. Show those around you how much you love to read and share together the joy of reading. Snap a picture of your group enjoying a good story and post it to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #NEOReads. We will be liking and sharing posts and pictures all day!
  • Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday – Read Across America Day is also Dr. Seuss’s Birthday. One of the main ways many people, cities and organizations celebrate the day is by dong some fun activities to celebrate the wit and quirky writings of Dr. Seuss. Do you own or run a daycare? Are you a teacher? Throw a fun birthday party for Dr. Seuss, where you read one of his stories, act it out or make up your own silly and fun rhymes. There is no better way to celebrate a love of reading then celebrating a man who wrote some fantastic stories. Check out the Seussville site for some great ideas and activities, . Don’t forget to share the fun and festivities with us using  #NEOReads.
    Read Acrosss America Day St. Claire school (2)
  • Read 20 mins with your child – Reading just 20 minutes a day with your child can make a world of difference. Let them choose their favorite Dr. Seuss book or any other favorite book and spend some time together reading. Even have them dress up as their favorite character as a way to truly bring the story to life! Make it a daily routine!
Read Across America Day St. Claire School (3)

Kindergarten and First Grade Class of St. Clare School

  •  Sign up for the 2000 Days Pledge – More than anything else the first 2000 days from birth to kindergarten have the single greatest effect on a child’s life. Take the 2000 days pledge, and pledge to make the most of this time to ensure that your child will succeed throughout his or her life.

These are just some ideas. The most important thing you can do on March 2nd, is take some time out to read, either with a group, alone or with your children. Help us show the rest of the country that NEO values reading and literacy. We are looking forward to seeing all the      pictures and posts about the way you celebrate Read Across America Day with us on March, 2nd, 2016.

Remember to share your reading pictures and celebrations with #NEOReads on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We will be sharing and liking posts all day!


sun_swooshHave you ever thought about how much you read on a daily basis? It is a skill many of us who are literate take for granted every day. Part of your morning routine may be taking medications. You read the label to know how much to take, when and with what foods. You read through a recipe in order to make your family a delicious and nutritious meal. On your way to work you read road signs in order to find your way quickly and efficiently. If you don’t drive you read the bus schedule so that you can make it to work on time.

Now imagine that you can’t read. You need a job but you can’t read the application.  You have three different medications to take but you can’t read the names, dates or times and cannot take them when you need to.  You can’t read the nutritional information on a package and thus can’t make the right dietary decisions for you and your family. Can you now see how difficult life would be if you could not read?

The Literacy Cooperative understands how important and essential being able to read and write is for everyday life. In Cleveland 66% of adult residents are low literate. In some Cleveland neighborhoods (Kinsman and Hough) the illiteracy rate is as high as 95%. These are statistics that beg for change and The Literacy Cooperative is working to enact that change.

This year The Literacy Cooperative turns ten. Twelve years ago, The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation and the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation gathered together a broad spectrum of the community to seek creative and new solutions of low literacy and its implications. Over the course of 14 months the effort brought together more than 300 individuals representing 250 organizations.  The group came to a consensus on two key recommendations: develop an action plan and create a collaborative organization to carry out that plan.  This outcome showed that there were many service providers working with a number of individuals but there was no organization that was focused on the systematic changes that were are needed to advance literacy. The collaborative organization created to focus on these systematic changes became The Literacy Cooperative in 2006.

For the past 10 years The Literacy Cooperative has been working hard to advance literacy by raising awareness of the issue, promoting effective public advocacy and fostering a delivery system with maximum impact on the region. The three main focus areas The Literacy Cooperative works around are Early Literacy, Adult Literacy and Career Pathways, and Parent Engagement.

The Literacy Cooperative is an intermediary nonprofit, meaning we work with other organizations in order to direct systemic change. Our vision is to ensure that all children and adults in Greater Cleveland will reach their highest literacy potential for employment, self-sufficiency and life-long learning.  The Literacy Cooperative is working with a number of programs and pilots; for more information check out the rest of our website or come back here for further blog posts about these projects.

This is just a very quick and concise introduction into who we are as an organization. We are involved in many different aspects of literacy and are working on a number of initiatives. This blog will be one of our ways to help keep the community informed and involved! For more posts about the number of organizations and programs we support as well reading recommendations from our staff and even guest posts, be sure to bookmark this page and check back for updates!

Be sure to check out our other Social Media pages on Twitter, FacebookInstagram and Linkedin to stay up-to-date on future blog posts as well as everything else we are working on.

We want to hear from you.  How would illiteracy affect your day to day life? And what are ways you are helping to fight illiteracy in our community?