This Week at READ USA

Book Choice and Ownership

Announcing 2023 Peace in the Pages, Presented by David & Monique Miller

  • Read USA Inc.
  • May 31 2023

Today we are thrilled to announce the details about our 2023 READ USA Peace in the Pages event, generously presented by David & Monique Miller!

Every year, READ USA supporters gather at TIAA Bank Field around Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday to celebrate the connection between literacy and Gandhi’s ideals for peace, unity, and freedom, and to recognize seven community champions for literacy. As our presenting sponsor David Miller firmly believes, “Literacy is foundational to everything in our society; it underpins our democracy, and it’s the link that every person has to society.”

We are so grateful for David & Monique’s support of this year’s Peace in the Pages event and READ USA, and their unwavering commitment to literacy, equity, and leveling the playing field for everyone in our community.

Hear directly from David Miller about why he and Monique support READ USA’s efforts to close the literacy gap in our community:


Save The Date!

READ USA’s 2023 Peace in the Pages event will take place on Thursday, September 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at TIAA Bank Field.

Attendance to Peace in the Pages is currently reserved for our generous donors who support READ USA at $1,000 a year or more and their guests. Donate now to reserve your seat today!

Congratulations to our 2023 Peace in the Pages Award Winners!

READ USA is honored to recognize the immense contributions of the following individuals to literacy, education, and pursuing equal access to opportunity for everyone in our community:

  • READ to Lead Award: Betty Burney, CEO of I’m a Star Foundation
  • READ to Succeed Award: Tim Cost, President of Jacksonville University
  • READ to be Free Award: Kevin Gay, Founder of Operation New Hope
  • READ to Heal Award: Nicole Thomas, President of Baptist Health
  • READ to Remember Award: Dr. Floyd Willis, Mayo Clinic
  • Marjorie Broward Memorial Award: Paula Findlay, Principal of Arlington Elementary
  • Mark Landen Memorial Award for Democracy through Journalism: Mark Woods, Reporter for the Florida Times-Union

We look forward to sharing much more about our highly deserving award winners during the coming months leading up to Peace in the Pages in September.

Melanie Lawson, anchor of The Morning Show on News4Jax, has graciously agreed to serve as our master of ceremonies! Melanie has been a tremendous supporter of READ USA and our community-wide effort to close the literacy gap in Duval County, and we are so thankful for the energy, enthusiasm, and passionate voice for literacy that she radiates!


A special thank you to Ashley Szczukowski and Laura Phillips Edgecombe for serving as
our Host Committee Co-Chairs! Both Ashley and Laura have been steadfast supporters of READ
USA for several years, and if you know either of them, you know their dynamism is unmatched! We
are so thankful for their support in leading the efforts of our esteemed host committee members,
who have already hit the ground running. Thank you, Ashley and Laura!

Remember to Save the Date for Thursday, Sept. 28

and stay tuned for more!

That’s a Wrap for 2023 Book Fairs – and Thank You, Jacksonville Jaguars!

READ USA officially completed our 2023 Book Fairs last Friday – and we did so with a bang and special surprise for the students at Merrill Road Elementary!

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Caleb Johnson, #57, joined Community Impact and Programs Manager Michael Carnahan to surprise the PK-2 students at Merrill Road with a lively assembly, prize packs, and help with choosing their free, brand-new books from the READ USA Book Fair.

Many thanks to the Jaguars organization for helping close out our 2023 Book Fairs with such great energy and enthusiasm!

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To all of our generous donors, sponsors, and volunteers, YOU are who make the READ USA Book Fairs possible! Your time, talent, and treasure are what brings Book Choice & Ownership to life by putting free books into the hands of every public school elementary student across Duval County, and our gratitude for you has no bounds. From the core of our hearts and minds, thank you for your commitment to literacy and the students of Duval County. Because of you, READERS ARE LEADERS!


Children’s Book: Love Makes a Family, by Sophie Beer

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Kicking off June is an enjoyable story to leave our young readers thinking about how they show love in their own families! In Love Makes a Family, we see many kinds of families portrayed. Readers learn that acts of love, like playing music together, spending time appreciating one another, and other kind acts can really demonstrate love to a family member. Our readers also learn that love is an action and emotion that can be felt by all types of families in all types of places. Love Makes a Family is sure to get young readers showing kindness and climbing up onto your lap for story time.

 Submitted by Tabetha Cox, Chief Programs Officer



Parent Education Corner: Conversation Starters for Reading with Your Child

During the READ USA Book Fairs, every child that attended was given a READ USA Parent Guide with literacy activities and reading support for you to use at home. These resources will be especially beneficial as you support your child’s literacy development during the summer months.

We will be sharing these resources in the Parent Corner this month in case you missed receiving your Parent Guide from the READ USA Book Fair. You can also access digital versions of the Parent Guide here (and they are available in nine different languages, too!).

Here are conversation prompts for reading fiction books with your child:


Submitted by Kathi Hart, Tutoring Program Content Specialist

Do you have any questions or ideas for the Parent Education Corner? Anything you’d like to learn? Let us know here!