KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs announced the Read City USA 2022 challenge on Tuesday.
This year's challenge is under the theme “Oceans of Possibility" and the million-hour goal is broken into three nautical challenges to be completed throughout 2022, officials said.
A launch event was held Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the Haslam-Sansom Ministry Complex on Texas Avenue.
According to a press release, programming was expected to include a message from Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, who, in 2015, invested in Zoobean, the company that developed the Beanstack Tracker App used to log the challenge's reading hours.
Mayor Jacobs started Read City USA in 2019 to help increase literacy rates.
Officials said that currently, only 40% of Knox County students are reading on grade level by the third grade—a milestone grade for several indicators including future graduation rates, incarceration projections, and earning capacity.
Read City USA launched its first challenge of 250,000 hours with the theme of "Reading to the Moon." Since then, Read City USA has seen steady growth with groups and individuals logging a combined 2,090,580 hours by 23,682 participants, a press release states.
“I'm excited to see the participation in this reading challenge,” said Mayor Jacobs. “It shows that our community cares about supporting our schools and making reading a priority.”
Individuals, groups, and businesses are encouraged to take the challenge.
For more information visit the Knox County Public Library's website.