Community partners combine efforts to encourage summer reading

Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 8/23/2019 6:00:00 AM

A variety of Peoria-area organizations came together this summer to work toward one of Peoria Public Schools’ primary goals – that students will read on or above grade level by third grade. Watching the collaboration and teamwork has been amazing.  


On June 1st, over 1,200 people attended the Slide into Summer Reading kick-off celebration at Owens Center. With help and volunteers from Peoria Public Schools, the Peoria Public Library, Align Peoria and WTVP and many more community partners, the event helped families focus on the importance of encouraging students to read at least 20 minutes a day during summer break.


About 650 PPS students participated in the Peoria Public Library Summer Reading program, with an overall increase of 36 percent participation above last year. Leading the district with the highest number of students participating were Kellar Primary School, with over 50 summer readers, and Washington Gifted Middle School, with over 40.


In late May, Little Free Libraries were installed at 13 Peoria Public Schools, Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Education Center and St. Paul Baptist Church as part of Align Peoria’s Read Peoria initiative. Key partners in the initiative are the Junior League of Peoria, the PPS Foundation, PNC and The Book Rack. The Little Free Libraries were stocked with books all summer, giving students and their families a steady source of free books to take, share and return. PPS teachers and school resource officers visited The Book Rack and read to students via social media.


As the new school year picks up steam, we look forward to keeping up the reading momentum. We have so many opportunities for community partners to impact our kids inside and outside the classroom. If your business, non-profit organization, faith or civic group is not yet a Peoria Public Schools community partner, I invite you to join us in cultivating Peoria’s future leaders and citizens.


Read more about Align Peoria