The National Civic League has selected the City of Roanoke as the first ever All-America City Hall of Fame Winner. Roanoke has a long history with the All-America City Award, receiving this recognition for a record seven times. The Hall of Fame Award recognizes Roanoke’s continued work and advancement of the Star City Reads (SCR) initiative, and the impact of Roanoke Public Libraries’ Feed and Read Program.
The SCR initiative works to ensure that all children can read proficiently by the end of third grade. SCR consists of a coalition of more than 30 community partners, led by the Roanoke Public Libraries. Each partner organization supplements the work it already does, whether conducting home visitation, providing social services, or running theatre programs, with efforts that support early childhood literacy. The community’s progress includes a more than 10% increase in reading proficiency rates for low-income third graders.
In summer 2014, Roanoke Public Libraries and its partners—Roanoke City Public Schools, YMCA—piloted the first Feed and Read program. In October 2018, Feeding America Southwest VA joined as a partner and the Feed and Read program expanded to offer meals Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays. The program allows any child, birth to 18 years of age, to receive a free, USDA-approved meal and participate in literacy enrichment activities. Since Feed and Read launched, more than 50,000 meals have been served to children at Roanoke Public Library branches. Feed and Read is made possible by federal funding.
To read more about the Hall of Fame Award, click here.