This Week at READ USA

Book Choice and Ownership

Thank You for Your Service, Dr. Greene!

  • Read USA Inc.
  • July 12 2023


Last Friday, the READ USA team had the honor of attending Dr. Diana Greene’s retirement party at the Jacksonville Public Library’s main library downtown – and what a wonderful time we had celebrating her!

READ USA Team at Dr. Green Retirement_large

While we felt bittersweet emotions about Dr. Greene’s departure, we are immensely grateful for her years of service to the students, educators, and families of Duval County. She guided “Team Duval” through some exceptionally challenging times and led some incredible accomplishments for our students and district, including passing the half-cent sales tax to improve school facilities, increasing the graduation rate, and increasing the percentage of the district’s schools graded “A, B, or C” to 93%, plus more. Her leadership, passion for our students, and commitment to excellence was tireless, and our school district and city overall are poised for continued success because of her. The Jacksonville Public Library also gave Dr. Greene a tremendous honor by naming its children’s reading area as the “Dr. Diana L. Greene Children’s Reading Place.” We couldn’t agree more that this honor was incredibly deserved!

Dr. Diana Greene Childrens Reading Place_cropped_large

We were particularly inspired by Dr. Greene’s comments during the event. When encouraging everyone in the room to stay engaged in supporting Team Duval in the future, Dr. Greene drew upon her past and something that her father had instilled in her when she was a high school athlete. She said, “If you are sitting on the bench, why are you on the team? Get up and get in the game!” Her overall message was positive encouragement for the community to ‘step up our game’ in supporting the students, teachers, and families of Team Duval, and we are grateful for her rallying cry! AND, we have many upcoming opportunities where you can “get in the game” with READ USA! Check them out below.

 ALSO! Many thanks to our Co-Founder and Board Chair Ellen Wiss who generously donated 300 copies of Dr. Greene’s Jeremy Journey book, so everyone in attendance could receive a copy! We will be announcing details soon about how the public can purchase this or other volumes of Jeremy's Journey -- so stay tuned!

        Greene_1_large     2022 Vol 2 Jeremy Journey Dr Diana Greene_large


We Need Book Event Volunteers!

READ USA is participating in several upcoming events that, naturally, feature our favorite thing: BOOKS!

We need volunteers to help us make these events a success! Check out the details below, and click here to register as a volunteer for any of these upcoming opportunities.

Saturday, July 29: BEAM Back-to-School Event

The Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, or BEAM, is helping families and students by providing clothing, new backpacks, school supplies, and shoes. We and Scholastic have partnered to provide our

We need: Greeters, book choice assistants, labelers, baggers, and more!

When: Saturday, July 29 - from 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Where: Beach Church, 325 7th Avenue North, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

BEAM Event Flyer

Saturday, August 5: Florida Blue Back-to-School Events (Two Locations)

Florida Blue is hosting two free, family-fun back-to-school events, where their team will give away school supplies and provide information about member perks and community resources. And READ USA will be giving away free books, Student Activity Guides, and Parent Resources!

We need: Set-up and book choice assistants, baggers, and others to keep it running smoothly!

When: Saturday, August 5 - from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (both events)

Where – Two Locations:

  • River City Florida Blue Center at 13249 City Square Dr., Ste 103, Jacksonville, FL 32218 (North Jax)
  • Town Center Florida Blue Center at 4855 Town Center Pkwy., Jacksonville, FL 32246

TownCenter_large   RiverCity_large

Saturday, August 5: Historic Eastside Back-2-School Event with Kids Hope Alliance

This collaborative, community-based event will include health and wellness, educational advancement, community outreach resources, and organizational initiatives beneficial to all people. The purpose is to provide holistic resources for students and their families in the Historic Eastside via academic resources, clothing and hygiene supplies, and meals to families the day of the event for the upcoming academic school year. READ USA will be giving away free books, Student Activity Guides, and Parent Resources!

We need: Set-up assistants, table staffers, book re-stockers, and more!

When: Saturday, August 5th from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Where: Flossie Brunson Park, 1050 Franklin Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

Volunteer at a Book Fair!


Children’s Book: Ice Cream Man, by Glenda Armand and Kim Freeman

Ice Cream Man_large

Illustrated by Keith Mallett

July is National Culinary Arts Month and what better to way to celebrate than reading a biography of the man known as “the father of ice cream!”

Ice Cream Man: How Augustus Jackson Made a Sweet Treat Better is an inspiring story of an African American entrepreneur who is known as “the father of ice cream.” This is a beautifully illustrated picture-book biography of a little-known visionary. Augustus Jackson was born in 1808 in Philadelphia. Augustus and his family were free, but poor, and relied on their garden and their chickens for food. From an early age, Augustus enjoyed cooking and he dreamed of becoming a professional cook. At the age of 12, Augustus set off for Washington, D.C. and was hired as a kitchen helper at the White House. After 5 years of working hard, he was promoted to cook and went on to serve three U.S. Presidents!

During his time at the White House, Augustus became an expert at making ice cream. He decided that he wanted to make and sell the frozen treat to everyone and headed back home to Philadelphia. In 1830, he opened his very own ice cream parlor, and he devised ways to keep the ice cream frozen and to freeze faster. Augustus’s dream had come true, and better yet, he had brought smiles to many faces!

Submitted by Kathi Hart, Tutoring Program Content Specialist

Parent Education Corner: The Amazing Benefits of Storytelling

Have you ever had a child look up at you and ask, Tell me a story about something funny that happened to you when you were little, tell me about a time when you got in trouble at school, or tell me about your favorite teacher? There is nothing to compare to the beauty of storytelling to our children. Storytelling offers numerous advantages to children as well as providing you an opportunity to spend quality time with your child.

Take a look at this list and learn about the benefits of storytelling:

Instills virtues in children

Young children love listening to stories. Tell them stories with characters whose values they can emulate or stories with meaningful messages. Stories can teach valuable lessons and helps them learn about kindness, wisdom, honesty, compassion, and more.

Boosts their listening skills

Telling stories with your child can help improve their listening skills. They will become more attentive and learn how to increase their focus on a certain topic.

Enhances their communication skills

Telling stories to children can increase their ability to express themselves. It encourages them to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and ideas. When storytelling, make sure to encourage your little one to ask questions or discuss their thoughts. As you continue to indulge in a storytelling activity with your little one, they will have a broader vocabulary as they pick up new words.

Fosters their imagination

When children listen to a story, it makes them imagine the characters, the plot, the setting, etc. It’s very different from watching something on a screen. Storytelling encourages children’s imagination to run wild as the story unfolds. They can imagine the story however they want it to look like in their heads. It can even enhance their creativity and make them open to new ideas.

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