One of Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ key projects is cruising right along. To support the Read City USA mission during COVID-19 shutdowns, Mayor Jacobs has launched Story Time Live on his Facebook page and Read City USA Instagram page.

As of this morning, folks have spent 289,600 hours reading, putting Knox County ahead of its 2020 flight plan.

“Reading together is an essential part of preparing for school,” Mayor Jacobs said. “As our community battles the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to introduce children to new places and ideas so their imaginations can take them anywhere they may want to go.”

Read City USA is a collaborative initiative led by Mayor Jacobs to ensure that all children, regardless of socioeconomic background, learn to read early and well.

Mayor Jacobs asked the community to help Read City USA go around the world 20 times in 2020—collectively reading 500,000 hours—by reading 20 minutes per day. With a Knox County library card for a boarding pass, passengers are encouraged to track their reading time in the Beanstack Tracker App, which can be found in your favorite smart phone app store. Reading time can also be logged on a computer at or on a paper log that can be turned into a public library when they are open again.

“A child’s first and most important teacher is at home,” Mayor Jacobs said. “This has never been truer as families across the county are adapting to a new, unchartered academic situation. There are a lot of distractions for everyone right now, but we must remember that reading is one of the most effective tools we have in helping students.”

Though his story time sessions are geared towards young readers, Mayor Jacobs reminds the community that Read City USA is for all ages.