In addition to spotlighting free reading resources, incentives, and contests supporting summer reading, this year’s Summer Reading Summit will have a panel of community members such as Superintendent Eakins, THPL’s Director Andrew Breidenbaugh, David Egles- Tampa Bay Rays Community Engagement Manager, Warren Hope Dawson-Attorney at Law, Tracy Keenan-HDR Engineering, and Lindsey Robbins- Read to Dream, discussing the impact of literacy and summer learning on their area of expertise. The Summer Reading Challenge will be awarding experiences to our children and their families as reading incentives. Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ top prize will include a “Behind the Scenes Tour” of One Buc Place, in addition to the Glazer Children’s Museums prize packages and much more!
Attendees of the summit can browse through reading options and share ideas to enhance summer programming with representatives of local organizations including United Way Suncoast, Hillsborough Public Library Cooperative, HCPS’ Library Media Services, Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Arts Council, I-Station, Scholastic, Barnes and Noble, Bess the Book Bus, WEDU, Tampa Bay Times, Bricks Smart, Early Literacy Matters, and myON.
“We can close the achievement gap when we work collaboratively with community partners. Summer reading with myON is the perfect opportunity for children to read for fun, learn new things and explore faraway places. I hope everyone will encourage their children to get involved in high-quality summer programs and innovative practices. Making certain that our students are reading helps us prepare students for life.” said Superintendent Jeff Eakins.
In addition to key organizations, the myON Street Team will return this summer as a vital component to encouraging and motivating students to read. The vision of the myON Street Team is to convene a group of students from Hillsborough County Public Schools and area Universities to provide them professional development opportunities to learn how to help students understand the value of literacy and learning; then continue their mission by travelling to summer sites to encourage and motivate students to continue to learn over the summer.
Along with HCPS and myON, all of the original community partners have renewed their commitment to “Read on myON,” including Hillsborough County Public Schools, Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, United Way Suncoast, BOCC Head Start, Tampa Housing Authority, and the Early Learning Coalition. And in January of 2017, Read on myON Partnership welcomed an additional partner, YMCA.
“The most precious tool you can give a child is the ability to read, and a book! It can change lives, create an escape, and encourage greatness,” said Kelley Parris, executive director of the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County.
HCPS is the eighth-largest district in the nation, serving many English language learners in a population where 17% of students are below the poverty line. The “Read on myON” project has engaged parents, teachers, administrators, students, and enthusiastic nonprofits to make literacy for all a top priority. Since the start of the partnership, more than 245,000 Hillsborough county users have read over 11.1 million books, spending 1.5 million hours—that’s about 256 years of reading.
All Summer Care Providers and educators from Hillsborough County are encouraged to register for the Summer Reading Summit for free here.