“Read to Me!” Banners

A partnership project of:
  • Family Reading Partnership
  • Local and National Artists
  • Area Individuals, Businesses, & Schools
  • Cascadilla Tree Care

See photos of a banner being hung at Wegmans Food and Pharmacy in Ithaca, NY, summer 2016.

Project Background

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. New banners and calendars were created from 2004 through 2017 and showcased 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.

Overview

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, phone company, and tree trimming service all 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 were created from banner artwork through 2017.)

Banners are still being printed for schools, libraries, and organizations across the country who want to spread the “Read to Me” message in their own communities. To place a banner order, see information below and email office@familyreading.org.

Objectives
  • Increase awareness of the importance of reading together with children.
  • Unite the community in a movement to read to children.
  • Encourage the establishment of a tradition of read aloud in homes.
  • Create a connection from school to home with a common experience.
Measures of Success

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.”

Spreading the “Read to Me” message with colorful banners

You can hang this colorful artwork proclaiming “Read to Me!” in your own area!

Banners are sold in two sizes: 9′ x 12′ as single banners and 3′ x 4′. Banners have grommet holes in the corners and the large size has additional grommets every few feet along the sides. Custom sizes are also available, as well as custom layout if you would like to include your own logo or tagline.

Choose any of the “Read to Me!” images from our many years of producing calendars and banners. When ordering, use the name under the image desired, which is the artist’s last name and year. View all the Read to Me Artwork from 2004 to 2016.

For prices of standard sizes and optional custom work, and for more information or to order, email office@familyreading.org.