Saturday, June 13, 2015
By Shandra Hill Smith
Photography by Doug Smith Photography
With a goal of getting kids — parents, too — excited about reading, the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club held an official kickoff June 6 at The Children’s Museum of Atlanta.
In partnership with the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club — now in its third year — will distribute 15,000 free books to Atlanta children ages birth to eight years old.
The kickoff event included a special reading by First Lady of Atlanta Sarah-Elizabeth Reed, along with live music, a cold cooking demonstration and other activities.
The First Lady read the Summer 2015 book, “Amari’s Shining Moment,” which is part of a series that spotlights Atlanta and is written by staff from the Rollins Center for Language & Literacy at the Atlanta Speech School. The writers were on hand for the reading event. Children who attended received copies of the book.
Mrs. Reed says, as First Lady, reading is a focus of hers, and that she and Mayor Reed read to their one-year-old daughter Maria as often as possible. She encourages parents to do the same with their children as well.
“It is so important for parents to read with their children, really even before children are able to talk themselves because it helps language development and vocabulary and imagination,” says Mrs. Reed.