West Park had about 65 people celebrated International Literacy Day Sept. 8th. The sit-in locations were decorated with colorful signs with slogans like: “Honk for Reading”, “Today, Tomorrow, Always, Read”, and “Believe and You Can Read”.
A silent sit-in reading circle for International Literacy at Rockport branch of the Cleveland Public Library was organized by Adele Torres, branch clerk at Rockport. Four youth were reading books from different countries at Riverside Park Estates outside the community center despite the morning rain.
About 50 youth and adults read books at a sit-in party organized by Geraldine Belcher at her house on Puritas under the shelter of a party tent. There was a bookmark-making station, a book give-away for all ages, a raffle for youth, literacy cheers, and hotdogs and refreshments. At the celebration was the announcement of book report contest with a $20 cash prize for the best report by a girl and by a boy that gets turned in by the end of this week to Ms. Belcher. The cash prize was sponsored by a neighborhood father. In addition to parental involvement at the party, Ciara Johnson, Jasmine Thornton, and Kayla Belcher helped Geraldine organize the event. Those 3 youth participated in intense leadership training by the Partnership for Safer Cleveland, which was funded by the MyCom youth development initiative.
Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation (BPDC) staff and youth leaders organized these sites after The Literacy Cooperative of Greater Cleveland sent out an announcement about the day. The Literacy Cooperative’s vision is “to ensure that all children and adults in the Greater Cleveland area will reach their highest literacy potential for employment, self-sufficiency and lifelong-learning.” BPDC hopes more leaders organize more sites for next year’s celebration.