Mayor Jonathan McCollar and the Bulloch County Literacy Council have officially opened a new reading nook for children inside the lobby of the Statesboro City Hall to support the Council’s Bulloch READ initiative. At the opening a group of youngsters, many of whom are children of City employees, enjoyed Mayor McCollar reading a book aloud and picking out a book to take home.

“One of the things that inspired me when I went to the Literacy Council’s Bulloch READ Kick-off event in November, is when I saw all of the energy around promoting literacy for our young kids in the community, so I thought it was a great opportunity for the City to be a part of that movement, said Mayor McCollar. “When I was told that this was something that we could do right here inside of City Hall, I wanted to definitely make sure that we took advantage of it.”

The Bulloch County Literacy Council encourages reading nooks in businesses to boost access to books for children and help improve preschool and early-elementary literacy in Bulloch County.

The City of Statesboro’s reading nook is now one of four to debut in businesses this school year. Bulloch Solutions and Franklin Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, two of the Literacy Council’s Bulloch READ program sponsors, were the first two businesses to establish reading nooks for children in their locations, and Statesboro Urgent Care with Dr. Sreevalli Dega, added their location in March.

literacy council
Credit: Canva

“Promoting literacy at a young age for our most precious citizens allows us to make a big investment into their future, and not just their future, but the future of our city,” Mayor McCollar added. “What we want to do is to encourage early reading and early literacy for our young people, because overall that helps them perform better in school and become better employees and better citizens. This is really all of us trying to connect the dots to make not just our young people’s lives better but the future of our City brighter.”

Reading nooks are a great way to give children easier access to books, encourage reading, and create a literacy-rich environment for children in our community. The cozy corners offer a place for kids to look at or read books, and families may take a book home from the businesses’ reading nooks to help build their own home libraries and nooks.

The Literacy Council is available to guide businesses in how to establish a reading nook. Contact Crystal Simpkins, Director of Early Learning and Literacy at Bulloch County Schools, at 912.212.8892 or by email at csimpkins@bullochschools.org.

The Literacy Council also encourages reading and reading nooks at home. In February, leading up to Read Across America Day, the Literacy Council hosted its 2nd Annual Reading Nook Photo Contest for families to submit photos of their children reading or being read to in their home nooks.

About Bulloch County Literacy Council

The Bulloch County Literacy Council is made up of pre-school, secondary and post-secondary educators, representatives from local businesses, and literacy and civic organizations who want to increase Kindergarten readiness for children birth through Pre-Kindergarten and to support the improvement of literacy levels for all children in Kindergarten through fifth-grade. Bulloch READ is their primary project:

Reading: Encourage the creation of Reading nooks.
Environment: Encourage a literacy-rich Environment.
Access: Increase Access to books and reading resources.
Development: Increase early brain Development.