Cradle to Career AllianceThis City Reads

This City Reads and the Cradle to Career Alliance

After 11 years of promoting reading in our community, the literacy alliance known as This City Reads will cease to exist in 2015.  Instead, going forward, our community’s collaborative literacy efforts will be led by the Summit Education Initiative and their Cradle to Career Alliance.

When This City Reads was formed in 2004, and we held the first annual Day of Reading, we hoped to build a coalition of agencies, organizations, and schools that would focus on promoting and improving reading in Akron and Summit County.  We did that not by creating a new organization, but by agreeing to work together for a common goal; the relationships created via This City Reads have laid the foundation for what has followed. 

In the last three years the emergence of SEI’s Cradle to Career Alliance has clearly changed the local collaborative landscape.  Essentially, SEI is doing exactly what This City Reads set out to do over a decade ago, but with sustainable funding, staff, and organizational support.  Through the efforts of Derran Wimer and Matt Deevers, SEI is building work teams focused on six key transition points in a student’s educational path.  This work is profoundly data-driven, which has enabled SEI to connect dots in ways previously not seen, and develop innovative approaches that are now beginning to bear fruit.

So, as proud as we are of This City Reads, and its legacy of collaboration, the time has come to let go of that moniker, and put all of our efforts behind the significant and results-oriented work of SEI’s Cradle to Career Alliance.  If you are not familiar with SEI, here is a link to their website

There will be no annual day of reading in 2015; this may return in 2016 with a different emphasis.  However, we will continue to hold the annual Family Reading Festival in February at Main Library, and the Night Out with the RubberDucks book drive event this summer, but these will now be Cradle to Career Alliance events.

For more information about these events contact Carolyn Burrier at

Thank you to all of our This City Reads partners for your tireless efforts to improve our community; to This City Reads founders, Bill Considine and Rev. Ron Fowler, for your vision of collaboration; to past co-chairs Sue Long and Sandy Auburn, for your leadership; and to Sue Lacy, for your skill in bringing us all to the table to work toward a collective goal.

In conclusion, we strongly encourage you to continue the efforts of This City Reads by joining the robust and growing Cradle to Career Alliance. You can join this effort by sending an email to Kaye Rowe at SEI, or by clicking on this link: Join in! 

In Akron and Summit County, thanks to all of you, the work continues.


David Jennings and Chris Yuhasz, This City Reads Co-Chairs