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Mayor Deegan’s River City Readers Literacy Initiative Exceeds Expectations - Additional Events Scheduled

February 16, 2024
Mayor Donna Deegan launched River City Readers, her citywide reading challenge for school-age children, with a kick-off event at the Main Branch of the Jacksonville Public Library late last month.
According to Library officials, nearly 3,000 people attended the event, where thousands of books were distributed, along with almost 1,200 backpacks.

Mayor Deegan challenged all in attendance, and the entire city, to download a free app called Beanstack. Through this app, children and their caregivers can log their reading minutes with the goal of reading at least 20 minutes per day. At the end of the year, the city’s top young readers will be given prizes.
To date, more than 100,000 minutes of reading have already been logged in the Beanstack app.
“Twenty minutes of reading a day paves the way for a brighter future,” says Mayor Deegan. “I am excited to see that we are well on our way toward this year’s goal of logging 300,000 minutes, and I am looking forward to exceeding it.”

Upcoming Events

Saturday, February 17th, 1pm, Jacksonville Main Library

Junior Lit Chat Event with Mayor Deegan and local children’s author Brittany Jones. Brittany has written a children’s book, “Mike the Friendly Firefighter,” about her late husband, a Jacksonville firefighter. The Mayor will also speak about River City Readers and give away books and backpacks. And a fire truck will be parked outside the library for attendees to check out.

Saturday, February 24th, 11:30 a.m., Brentwood Branch Library

Mayor Deegan will appear at a Black History Month event at Brentwood Branch Library celebrating the 124th anniversary of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” to discuss River City Readers, meet and greet attendees, and distribute books and backpacks.

Wednesday, March 6th, 3:30 PM, Rufus E. Payne Elementary School

Mayor Deegan will appear at a “Literacy Days” after-school literacy event at Rufus E. Payne Elementary School featuring Communities in Schools. She will read to children, discuss River City Readers, and distribute books and backpacks to attendees.

Saturday, March 9th at Noon, James Weldon Johnson Park

Mayor Deegan will take part in Celebrate Family Reading Day at the Main Library and JWJ Park. She will have an update on River City Readers, distribute books and backpacks, and meet and greet attendees.