Illinois Reads Kickoff

WebJunction Illinois /

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon and the Illinois Reading Council (IRC) have formally launched Illinois Reads, the first ever statewide literacy program spanning all generations.

I have always been committed to ensuring that all Illinois citizens have access to quality literacy programs that set them on the path to lifelong learning,” said White, Honorary Chairman of Illinois Reads. Illinois Reads is an exciting new program that will enhance our literacy efforts by encouraging all Illinoisans to read books by authors who are connected to the state of Illinois.

As part of Illinois Reads, which will culminate in a statewide celebration of literacy during Secretary White’s Family Reading Night on November 21, classrooms, public and school libraries, community groups, and community bookstores throughout the state will feature the titles of 35 books in six separate age groupings. The Illinois Reads website features the list of books and will serve as the focal point for the campaign.

“These books range from read-to books for infants to read-aloud books for home-bound seniors and everything in between,” said Tammy Potts, president-elect for the IRC, who heads up the Illinois Reads campaign. “There is a pleasant mix of hard covers and paperbacks, with several Spanish-language titles and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related books.”

The eight-month campaign will focus on reading at home and in the classroom for the remainder of the current school year as well as next fall when classes resume. Illinois Reads will also emphasize summer reading as a way to not only bring the family closer together but also to combat what is known as “summer learning loss” in children. Residents from Rockford to Carbondale and from Quincy to Danville can partake in Family Literacy Nights sponsored by their local IRC chapters.


The Illinois State Library, the Illinois Press Association, the Illinois Broadcasters Association, Rotary Clubs of Illinois, Floppets toys, and independent book stores throughout Illinois are all key IRC partners in the statewide campaign.