Cleveland launches citywide reading challenge

Almost 30 community organizations in Cleveland, including Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland Teachers Union, and The Mayor’s office, are encouraging reading to Cleveland residents to boost literacy levels in the city by launching Cleveland Reads Citywide Reading Challenge.

The challenge has two goals: have the city collectively read a million books and/or read for one million minutes in 2023. 

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

In 2009, a study conducted by Case Western Reserve University found that 69% of adults read at or below the 7th-grade level. Another study done by Seeds of Literacy in 2018 found that 66% of Cleveland adults are functionally illiterate.

“Every book is an opportunity to explore new ideas and open doors for discovery,” Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director and CEO of Cleveland Public Library, said in a statement.

As of Jan. 16, almost 3,400 people have joined that challenge and have read 6,590 books; according to; those that join the challenge have the opportunity to win prizes and a “lifetime of positive results.”

There are also mini-challenges, ranging from reading books in certain places to reading particular genres of books on subjects or by authors.

You can join the challenge by clicking here.