Read City USA Book Drive inspiring young readers, competition

Positively Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — It’s Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ move to encourage reading among our kids.

The Read City USA Book Drive is going strong in Knox County, and we need your help to collect new hardback books for elementary school students. WATE 6 On Your Side is taking part in the book drive by representing schools like Green Magnet Academy.

MORE ONLINE | Read City USA book drive aims to improve family literacy in Knox County

It’s turning into quite the competition between some of us in the media and the mayor!

It was a joy to read to second graders at Green Magnet Academy.
The students were engaged and enjoyed “The Cool Bean” about being kind to everyone.

Read City USA had Green Magnet and other Knox County schools participating in the book drive to choose a student to be an ambassador.
It’s clear that Green Magnet third-grader Paris Harris is the right choice.

“I love to pick up a book because it takes you into a whole other world; like you can go anywhere with a book,” Paris said. “You can go to outer space if you want. You can go to unicorn land. You can go anywhere you want.”

Students at Green Magnet are excited about getting new books from our community, maybe even as excited as the staff.

Mayor Jacobs is behind the effort to get more books into the hands of students at schools all over the county.

“It’s an amazing initiative the mayor has put forth,” Assistant Principal Will Smith said, “because, really, as far as reading and literacy, it’s key to the success and future of students.”

We caught up with the mayor who’s having fun turning the book drive into a competition between him and several of us in the media.

We let his office know that the dynamic duo of me and our Madisen Keavy has been reading to schools and storming social media to get you at home to donate new hardback books. Our goal is to win by collecting the most.

“I’m sure everybody’s saying they’re gonna win, but they’re not gonna win, because I’m gonna win, OK? It’s fact,” Mayor Jacobs said with a smile.

I don’t think so, Mayor. My money’s on WATE 6 On Your Side.

How you can help

To donate books on behalf of your school and WATE, email or, or call the mayor’s office at 215-2005 to coordinate a drop-off or pick-up.

The winner of the Reading Gives You Wings Book Drive will be announced at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, at Wild Wings Café in Turkey Creek.

If WATE collects the most books by the end of the drive, you will win a lunch with the Mayor! Help them win the drive by working with your school families to collect books on their behalf.

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