After six years of asking adults to read with children at least 20 minutes a day, Read 20 is now asking businesses to help deliver that message to employees.
Read 20 is inviting businesses to help promote the importance of reading with children at least 20 minutes a day. Kia of Chattanooga and Village Volkswagen of Chattanooga will challenge other area businesses to join them in welcoming Read 20 and the Readmobile to their work places with live remotes by area radio stations.
At the Oct. 6 and 11 events, Read 20's Stewart Payne will bring the Readmobile to visit Kia of Chattanooga and Village Volkswagen of Chattanooga to share the message about reading aloud and give books to employees and customers.
"We appreciate the Bowers Automotive Group’s support for the important work of preparing our children for the jobs of the 21st century," said County Mayor Jim Coppinger. "Make no mistake about it... reading with children is economic development. It's easier to see the connection with large initiatives, like providing employee training for new companies or creating a STEM education program. But reading is the foundation for all of these efforts."
Since 2006, Read 20 has given away more than 250,000 books, valued at over $2,250,000. National partnerships allow Read 20 to buy children's books for as little as 35 cents to $2.50 per book. Officials said, "We'd like to see every business in Hamilton County join us is supporting Read 20's mission, either by investing in Read 20 or by helping us promote reading to their employees. The workplace is a great way to reach busy working parents."
This campaign to engage businesses is the first of its kind for the organization to appeal directly to the business community. "We piloted this business outreach with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee last year and with AT&T last spring. Now joining them is the Bowers Automotive Group at their Kia of Chattanooga and Village Volkswagen of Chattanooga locations," said Read 20's Chief Reading Officer Shawn Kurrelmeier-Lee. "We are asking businesses to join us. We will return to those work places we have already visited and we hope to add more companies of every size so we can reach parents throughout the community."
Read 20 is a public/private partnership promoting literacy skills for early childhood, in an effort to create a community of readers. Since it was created in 2006, Read 20 has interacted with over 120,000 children, confirmed at least 40,000 adults reading with children every day and provided resources and training for 2,500 teachers in area public schools and child cares.