JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County education advocates know it’s not just students who are on social media, and they’re challenging parents to team up with their children for a social media challenge this summer.
READ JAX, a community-wide initiative to increase third-grade reading scores in Duval County, announced the social media contest, “READ JAX Summer Social Challenge,” to highlight the importance of reading at least 20 minutes a day.
The challenge runs through the end of July.
Caring adults are invited to post photos or short videos of themselves reading with or to children on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #READJAX attached. One winner will be selected from each social media platform and will be awarded $250. To enter, participants must simply like READ JAX on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and use the hashtag #READJAX on their entry.
Research released by the Jacksonville Public Education Fund this week shows that while approximately 90% of Duval County parents know reading is important and 71% believe students should read every day, only 33% said their children read on their own every day.
“Parents know how important reading is for the success of their children, but the research indicates they face some barriers to carry out those beliefs,” said JPEF President Rachael Tutwiler Fortune. “We want them to know that they have community support. Through our Summer Social Challenge, we are inviting caring adults across the community to show the creative ways they are reading with or to children below third grade every day.”
Research shows that reading just 20 minutes a day leads to better academic, economic and health outcomes, JPEF says.
READ JAX was launched in March with the tag line, “Twenty Minutes a Day Paves the Way” to highlight how little time it takes to build reading proficiencies in youth by simply reading with or to children each day.
“Much like learning a sport or how to play an instrument, learning to read takes practice. The more you practice, the better you become,” said Duval County School Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene. “That’s why reading 20 minutes each day—even in the summer—is so important to becoming a great reader.”