The Top 10

You Can Help by becoming a tutor, encouraging a friend or family member to get their high school equivalency or by just spreading the word. Choose an item from our Top 10 list, and let’s get cracking! Let’s make our city known for its literacy activism.

Get informed about crucial issues related to literacy

Did you know many Cleveland third graders are reading below grade level and may not be promoted to the next grade because of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee? Did you know 435,000 of Cuyahoga County adults lack the literacy skills needed to advance out of low-wage jobs? Click here to find out how raising the literacy rate will improve Northeast Ohio’s economic future. Learn more.

Volunteer as a tutor

There’s no better way to make a difference than to work one-on-one with a child or adult who needs help learning to read. It isn’t hard, and training is available. Learn more about become a reading or math tutor by contacting one of the following agencies:

The Volunteer Center at BVU offers dozens of literacy-themed volunteer opportunities ranging from being a child’s reading buddy during summer camp to assisting immigrants in learning and reading English. Interested in volunteering with your co-workers? BVU can work with your team to customize a service project that boosts literacy in your community; learn more here or contact BVU by phone at 216-736-7711.

Sign up to be a reading tutor during the summer or the school year by contacting Greater Cleveland Volunteers. Training will be provided. Call 216-391-9500 or click here to learn more.

Are you a parent of a young child? Then join our 20 Minutes of Reading A Day challenge!

Spending time reading with your kids has so many benefits – it helps them develop communication skills and makes them better students. Download our parent tips and pledge to read 20 minutes a day with your kids. Then join our social media blitz: Tell the world you’re participating by posting selfies of you reading with your kids on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #WordGapCLE!

Take a child to the library

Demystify the library for a child who isn’t a regular patron and help him get excited about reading by signing him up for a library card. The library also offers a number of great programs to spark a child’s interest in not only reading and books but also a number of other topics. Be sure to check out Cuyahoga County Public Library and Cleveland Public Library sites for more information about the programs they provide.

Urge a friend to sign up for a literacy or high school equivalency program

Do you know someone who needs that extra motivation to brush up on reading skills or complete their high school equivalency? Help them lift their earning potential by encouraging them to dial 833-ASPIRE2 (833-277-4732) to reach an adult education specialist who can guide them to literacy classes in their neighborhood. Thirteen percent of Cuyahoga County adults lack a high school diploma, and they could use a friend’s support as they tackle this challenge.

Ask your employer about setting up a workplace literacy program

Some forward-thinking local employers including University Hospitals are providing literacy courses and high school equivalency classes to help their employees advance in the company. Urge your Human Resources Department to learn more about these promising programs by contacting The Literacy Cooperative at 216-776-6180. Click here to find out more.

Launch a book seminar at your job

Would you enjoy sharing a monthly book with your co-workers? Check out the national Books@Work program, which has been utilized locally by employees at AVI Foodsystems, Cardinal Health, Swagelok and Maple Heights City Schools, with professors from Case and Hiram. For more information, click here or call Capria Jaussen, Operations Coordinator, at 216-800-1292.

Join the Little Free Library movement

Become a steward for one of these grassroots mini-libraries or help raise $400 to place one in a Cleveland neighborhood. Call 216-417-1803 or visit

Make a financial donation to help advance literacy initiative

Check out the important work that The Literacy Cooperative is undertaking in Greater Cleveland. An investment in our work bolsters our ability to be changemakers. Make a donation online or mail your check to The Literacy Cooperative, 1331 Euclid Ave., Cleveland OH 44115.

Stay connected with us on social media

Let us know which Top 10 item you choose to do! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @literacycoop, and be sure to like The Literacy Cooperative on Facebook. Tag us when you post pictures of yourself doing something from our Top 10 list – we’ll be sure to shout you out. By spreading the word about our call to action, you’re helping to inspire all of Northeast Ohio to get involved in this vital effort!