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Love for Literacy! Hillsborough County Schools want books in every hand

On a rainy Saturday back in November, cars lined up as far as the eye could see near Lanier Elementary School in Tampa. Inside the cars were kids—hungry for books!

It was our Early Childhood Literacy Fair, organized by School Board Vice-Chair Stacy Hahn. These Literacy Fairs are big events! We’ve held two of them so far with the help of community partners like Caspers Company, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Buccaneers, and MyON.

So far, we’ve given out nearly a thousand home libraries.

“We want to make sure every child in our community has books in their home,” says Dr. Hahn. “We know when children are read to or read books every day they have better outcomes in school.”

Now, the district is gearing up for two more Literacy Fairs. Dr. Hahn’s aim is to provide the opportunity to every area in our district. To keep these events socially distanced, cars simply drive through the Literacy Fair and pick up their home libraries, as well as plenty of other goodies from our community partners. Our upcoming Early Childhood Literacy Fairs will be held:

  • May 8 at Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center in Plant City
  • May 22 at Foster Elementary in East Tampa

Literacy is a priority in our district. It’s crucial to make sure our littlest readers have books that suit their interests in order to foster that love of reading.

It’s also important that ALL our students keep reading over the summer. You’ve heard of the Summer Slump? Unfortunately, it’s real. However, it’s a lot less harrowing if kids continue to read and tune their phonics skills over the summer.

With that in mind, our district is creating a series of phonics videos for Pre-K through third grade to help our students stay sharp. These videos will be a great resource for families. Stay tuned to our website,, for more on these videos.

Lastly, don’t forget about our school libraries. They are amazing and filled with books that are perfect for every age level. And here’s something cool that you and your child can do together. You can actually browse books in our school libraries online.

Here’s how you do it:

  • First, go to
  • In the upper right-hand corner of the page, click the icon that reads “Virtual Library & Catalog”
  • Find your school in the dropdown to the left
  • Before your eyes, books will appear that can be found in your child’s school library

Now, you and your child can sit together and browse titles and descriptions of books they may be interested in and they can check them out at school.

The love of reading is strong in Hillsborough County Public Schools!

*Feature image provided by Hillsborough County Public Schools

Originally published in May 2021

Laura Cross
Laura Cross
Hillsborough County Public Schools.

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