Two million books in 10 years. That’s the going count of books read by CPS students since 2008 through the Rosey Reader program. While the official count started ten years ago, the Rosey Reader program has continually sparked a love of reading in schools districtwide for the past 25 years.
It all started in 1993, when Richard Rosenthal and his late wife, Lois, had a desire to inspire young students to love reading from an early age. They started by donating books to elementary schools specifically for students to take home to read with family at night. The next day, the student returns the book and can take a different book home, and so began the Rosey Reader program.
On Tuesday, April 24, Rosenthal donated his two-millionth book to Hartwell Elementary second-grader Sheyley.
“We wanted children like you to learn to love to read early on in your school,” Rosenthal told the second-grade class at Hartwell. “You are pioneers at Hartwell now, but you’ll be good readers and you’ll be good learners for the rest of your life.”
Rosenthal completed his visit by reading a book to the class, and CPS Board of Education President Carolyn Jones presented him with a proclamation from the city designating April 24 as Rosey Reader Day in Cincinnati.
Just a few miles away, Superintendent Laura Mitchell donated the two-millionth-and-one book to Bond Hill Academy second-grader Chrisie’yona.
“Can you guess why I love coming back to Bond Hill?” Mitchell asked the kindergarten through third-grade students assembled in the gym. “It’s where I went to school for elementary, and where I learned to love to read myself. It’s very special to be here today to celebrate you all starting a lifelong love of reading.”
At John P. Parker Elementary in Madisonville, students in first and second grade split into groups of boys and girls. The girls read the book “Girl, You are Magic” by Ashley Aya Ferguson, decorated stars and wrote about what made them magical. The boys read “Crown: An Ode to The Fresh Cut” by Derrick Barnes, decorated crowns and shared what made them “prince-ly.”