KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Be on the lookout for Russel Biven, Emily Stroud and Todd Howell in Turkey Creek, today! They will be by Target collecting donations for the Read City USA initiative until 6 p.m.
The initiative is meant to make sure kids have the opportunity to read. Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs worked with the Knox County Government, Knox County Public Library, Knox County Schools, The Great Schools Partnership and other community organizations to get the program started in Knox County.
He wants the community to log 500,000 hours of reading through a free app called Beanstack. It tracks how long a person reads and features options to manually input what they've read and for how long, as well as a timing option.
Another component of the initiative, "Reading Gives You Wings Book Drive," ends on Feb. 7. During the book drive, media celebrities are paired with 10 schools in a competition to collect the most books.
Russell Biven was paired with these schools:
o Berean Christian School
o Cedar Bluff Middle
o Corryton Elementary
o First Lutheran School
o Gresham Middle
o Halls Elementary
o New Hopewell Elementary
o Powell High School
o Ritta Elementary
o Sunnyview Primary
If he collects the most books, then Read City USA Student Ambassadors at these schools will win a lunch with Mayor Jacobs. So, he and his colleagues from WBIR traveled to the Target in Turkey Creek to collect as many book donations as possible.
Anyone who wants to donate can also bring new, hardcover and age-appropriate books to the collection box in front of WBIR. Donors can also contact the mayor's office to organize a book pick-up or drop-off.
Donated books go to the Great Schools Partnership and will be distributed among students.