City of Readers, under the direction of the Educational Services Division, is a nationally renowned program that encourages all members of the San Bernardino and Highland communities to read for fun and information.
Creation, Awareness, Building Capacity, and Sustainability
City of Readers began in the summer of 1997. A steering committee of the city’s key decision-makers agreed that literacy would help unify our community with this common goal: to read for fun and information. Loni Hancock, the Region IX U.S. Department of Education representative attended the Parent Community Kick Off at San Bernardino Valley College that fall. She said, “All communities should replicate what’s being done here in San Bernardino.” The Faith Community Kick Off included keynotes from six clergy of various faiths, a one hundred voice teen choir, and over a thousand people. The Inland Center Mall Storytelling partnership won the regional Partners In Excellence Award from the Association of California School Administrators. We then went on to win the number one partnership in the state!
Currently, some of the City of Readers partnerships are as follows.
- The ASTERISK Summer Employment Institute is a program where 100 teens are employed throughout the summer.
- City of Readers Youth Ambassadors facilitate the fun.
- Grandmother of the Year, Read Across America, and the Barnes and Noble Book Fair are annual events.
- The Family Reading Festival is in its 16th year. Each third grader is recognized for success in reading for Read Across America, and of course, receives a free book! Thousands of people attended this annual event. The fun includes face painters, balloon twisters, literacy crafts such as princess hats and storybook castles, and more.