The Mayor’s Summer Reading Club’s Kicks Off its 12th Season on June 6th!

By: GEEARS for Saporta Report

The Mayor’s Summer Reading Club—the beloved GEEARS initiative that fosters early literacy with partner-led programming and free, original books—is entering its 12th season! 

The central goal of the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club is to create an environment in the City of Atlanta that supports brain development, early literacy, and learning by encouraging family engagement throughout the summer and by modeling language-rich activities centered on a shared story.

One of those shared stories, Noah’s Family Farm, was written for children ages zero to two by 13-year-old (and aptly named) Michaiah Booker, who came to us through our exciting new partner, Young Authors Publishing. YAP is an Atlanta-based publisher with a global reach that amplifies the stories of young people of color. Noah’s Family Farm, which was illustrated by Robin Boyer, is a sweet tale of a young boy’s exploration of his grandfather’s farm, knowing that it will someday be his own.

“My book is a teaching moment about learning how to live off the land,” Michaiah says, adding that the animals in Noah’s Family Farm were inspired by the ones on Noah’s Ark. “And I hope readers especially grasp the legacy part of it.”

Michaiah will have a chance to express such ideas and more when he appears at the MSRC’s Kick-off Event at 10:00 AM on Thursday, June 6th! He’ll read his book and answer kids’ questions in Sifly Piazza at the Woodruff Arts Center.  

The Woodruff Arts Center is also home to the Alliance Theatre, a longtime MSRC partner and creator of this summer’s other original story, a picture book for children ages three to five. The beautiful Bina’s Harvest—the MSRC’s sixth collaboration with the Alliance Theatre—was written by Lloyd Suh and illustrated by Nicole Kang Ahn. It features a READ Guide from the Rollins Center for Early Learning and Literacy (Atlanta Speech School) which teaches research-based read-aloud methods that help adults maximize the literacy and emotional benefits young children get from reading with their caregivers.

Both authors of this year’s book selections will be present to read their work and families who attend the kick-off event will go home with a copy of Bina’s Harvest. The books and the entire MSRC initiative are made possible thanks to generous funding from PNC Bank, the United Way of Greater Atlanta, the LuluMa Foundation, and WorldReader.

Throughout the summer, dozens of community partners, including child care providers, summer camps, museums, and libraries, will host literacy-rich events and programs oriented around Noah’s Family Farm and Bina’s Harvest. These will occur throughout the summer and all over the city. 

But first, we look forward to seeing you at the kick-off! Join us as we celebrate our authors, our rich creative partnerships, our committed funders, and most of all, our little ones and their literacy journeys. We can’t wait for another story-filled summer with them! 

DATE: Thursday, June 6, 2024

TIME: Doors open at 10 AM. The program lasts from 10:30 – 11:30 AM.

LOCATION: Woodruff Arts Center’s Sifly Piazza 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Atlanta, GA 30309