A partnership project of:
In 2003, billboard-sized banners with colorful images of reading together started appearing on buildings in the Ithaca area. A total of twelve different 9 foot by 12 foot vinyl banners were hanging in prominent locations by the end of the year. Each banner featured the artwork of a local artist depicting reading together in a variety of settings—from a tree house, a boat, and a rocking chair… to a bus and a tent. The banners images were then made into a 2004 calendar, with each month reminding families of the importance -and the joy- of reading together.
The next year local artists produced a new set of artwork, and banners and a 2005 calendar followed. Our third year of producing banners and a calendar showcases nationally known children’s book illustrators. Some images are from well-known children’s books and other artwork was created especially for the Family Reading Partnership.
Our first step in creating banners was inviting local artists to produce artwork with images of reading together. We encouraged them to illustrate reading in different settings and to show a variety of combinations of people- or animals. We asked for 9 inch by 12 inch original artwork which was scanned and digitally enlarged and printed on vinyl by a sign company to be 9’ x 12’. The original artwork was then auctioned off to generate funds for the project.
At the same time, we approached local businesses to ask if they would like to "host" a banner for the year. A local electric company and Verizon both offered to hang the banners on buildings using their bucket trucks.
Creating calendars of the images was an obvious next step. The beautiful artwork translated well into a calendar and with the sponsorship of an area business our message of “Read to Me- Any Time, Any Place” could then go right into the homes of low-income families for free. Calendars are also for sale in the Ithaca area and help support our programs.
We have heard from families that children love to come across "Read to Me" banners as they drive through town. As a local third grade teacher commented: "We love being surrounded by the ‘Read to Me’ message! The banners reflect what we value as a community – children, families, reading, and art."
Now you can hang this colorful artwork proclaiming “Read to Me!” in your own area! Banners and calendars are available to other communities at wholesale prices.
Banners are sold in two sizes: 9’ x 12’ as single banners and 3’ x 4’ as a set of 12. Banners have grommet holes in the corners and the large size has additional grommets every few feet along the sides.
For more information and to order email firstname.lastname@example.org.