Mayor Deegan And City Council Proclaim March 4 – 8 Celebrate Reading Week In Jacksonville

Contacts: Chris Boivin, (904) 255-6106 

Cell: (904) 759-5643,

Community Encouraged to Help Children Achieve Daily Reading Goal of 20 Minutes a Day 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 4, 2024 — "Students who read at grade level are more likely to earn a high school diploma and a college degree, granting them more career opportunities and greater earning potential," reads the proclamation signed by Mayor Donna Deegan, marking March 4 8 as Celebrate Reading Week throughout the city. 

The City Council Resolution introduced by Councilmembers Rahman Johnson and Terrance Freeman on behalf of Jacksonville Public Library and Kids Hope Alliance also points out, "children who do not learn to read at grade level by third grade will not be sufficiently prepared when reading to learn is required for the rest of their educational journey." The City Council passed the legislation on February 27, 2024, co-sponsored by Council President Ron Salem and Councilmembers Ken Amaro, Michael Boylan, Matt Carlucci, Nick Howland, and Chris Miller . 

City leaders are urging everyone to make a difference in the lives of our city's children by reading to or with them for at least 20 minutes each day and participating in reading-themed activities. 

This is also an excellent time for everyone to log reading in Mayor Deegan's River City Readers challenge, a city-wide challenge to all Duval County residents to read 300,000 minutes in 2024. To join the challenge and keep track of upcoming events, visit

And kids ages 5-12 and their families do not want to miss Family Reading Day on Saturday, March 9, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. in James Weldon Johnson Park downtown for... 

  • Special guest: Mayor Donna Deegan to talk about River City Readers 
  • Book and backpack giveaway from Read USA 
  • Daniel Tiger, Peg + Cat, and Molly of Denali from PBS Kids Balloon twisters and face painters 
  • FREE lunch (while supplies last) 
  • Jacksonville Zoo Animal Ambassadors 
  • Book Review Writing Contest Awards Ceremony 

...and more. 

Jacksonville Public Library, Kids Hope Alliance, Jacksonville Public Education Fund, WJCT Public Media, Duval County Public Schools, and all READ JAX organizations want everyone to join in Celebrate Reading Week activities with the theme "Where the Wild Books Are." Highlights and links to even more events can be found at where-wild-books-are. 

Visit for more information on Mayor Deegan's River City Readers Challenge. 

Where the Wild Books Are


About Jacksonville Public Library

The mission of the Jacksonville Public Library is to enrich lives, build community and foster success by bringing people, information and ideas together. Last year, more than 2.2 million visits were made to Jacksonville Public Library locations, items were checked out more than 4.7 million times, and over 8,000 programs and services were offered to Duval County residents at the Main Library and 20 branch locations. For more information about the Jacksonville Public Library, call 255-BOOK (2665) or visit

About Kids Hope Alliance

Kids Hope Alliance (KHA) is a funding agent for the City of Jacksonville. KHA invests millions annually in children's and youth programs and services in Duval County, simultaneously managing their implementation and monitoring their outcomes. Through the funding of third-party Providers and strategic partnerships with local non-profit organizations, KHA is working to ensure thousands of at-hope children and youth have access to a continuum of critical services, including academics, enrichment, nutrition, and mental health. For more information about Kids Hope Alliance, visit

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