Cleveland Reads Kickoff Celebration on Saturday

Cleveland Reads Kickoff Celebration on Saturday

A city that reads together grows together. Join the Cleveland Reads Citywide Reading Challenge. The goal is for the entire city to collectively read one million books and/or one million minutes in 2023.

Registration is open for the Cleveland Reads Kickoff Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 12  to 3 p.m. at Public Auditorium, 500 Lakeside Avenue East in downtown Cleveland. Everyone is invited for FREE books, reading resources, entertainment, fun family activities, and more.

In partnership with Euclid Public Library, the Cleveland Reads Kickoff Celebration will feature a live reading and book signing by children’s author Kelly Starling Lyons who wrote the Ty’s Travels series, Tiara’s Hat Parade, and Going Down Home with Daddy. Twinsburg’s own, 8-year-old Lil Dee, who created Our Brown Boy Joy to combat racial tension and drive positive social change, will also be there to inspire children.

Families can pick up FREE books and other cool swag at the Cleveland Reads Kickoff Celebration. They are distributing 40,000 books generously provided by the Cleveland Teachers Union and the American Federation of Teachers. There’s also a chance to win a Nintendo Switch with a one-year game subscription, Beats wireless earbuds, Southwest Airlines gift cards, and other prizes.

Families will enjoy performances by the John Marshall School Band, Cleveland Federation of Musicians Local 4, local cheer teams, and DJ Phatty Banks.

Transportation to Public Auditorium will be provided to and from five Cleveland Public Library locations: Carnegie West, Glenville, Hough, Rice, and Rockport. Buses will depart from the branches at 11:30 a.m. and return all riders to their pickup location by 3:30 p.m.

“Reading is a passion of mine and it’s helped guide me through various stages of life,” said Cleveland Mayor Justin M. Bibb.  Books have influenced me emotionally, spiritually, and professionally and I hope Cleveland Reads brings that same love to all Clevelanders,”Boosting literacy is one way to improve outcomes in our community – from academic success to workforce development.”

The Mayor’s Office, Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland Teachers Union, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and nearly 30 community organizations are working together to encourage reading and boost literacy levels in the city. According to a 2009 study by Case Western Reserve University, 69% of adults read at or below the 7th grade level. A 2018 Seeds of Literacy study found 66% of Cleveland adults are functionally illiterate.

All city residents to sign up online at and to use the website throughout 2023 to log their books and the minutes they spend reading. Win prizes and more!

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