In the spirit of Let’s Read. Let’s Move., Atlanta is tackling the challenge to keep kids’ brains and bodies active through the new Mayor’s Summer Reading Club, which will host a series of events across the city that cater to the community’s young readers.
The effort is a partnership between the Mayor’s office, Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), First Book, Jumpstart for Young Children, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and The Children’s Museum of Atlanta.
The summer kicked off with a Let’s Read. Let’s Move. event at the Children’s Museum. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and other special guests read to children and led them in fun activities including crafts, exercise, and preparing a healthy meal. The kids also were able to leave the event with age-appropriate books to read.
Truly Living Well VISTA members were in attendance at the kickoff and provided a fun, interactive lesson in gardening and healthy foods, while Metro Atlanta RSVP members serving with “CATCH Healthy Habits” led children in exercises during the event.
Summer Reading Club events continued through July with an outdoor family day, a book drive, and story time events. The club will wrap up the summer with an “Animal Tales” event hosted by Zoo Atlanta on Aug. 8. At the event, children will read “Amari’s Adventure” and see a tiger training demonstration with zookeepers.
Preparing Children Early to Ensure Success
The Mayor’s Summer Reading Club partners are also working with targeted programs to distribute books at no cost to children. Throughout the summer, libraries, summer programs, museums, farmers’ markets, and other institutions in Atlanta are holding “club reads” to bring words to life and supporting them with enrichment activities based on the stories they’ve selected. “The Monster Who Ate My Peas” by Jerry G. White, “Don’t Go Out in Your Underwear” by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz, and “In the Garden” were featured reading selections.
The Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) was formed in 2010 to help business, civic, and government leaders maximize the return on the state’s investments in early care and learning. GEEARS’ goal is to position Georgia as a national leader in ensuring that all children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed.