The John Germany Young Readers Initiative is a volunteer staffed reading program created to address the lowest reading levels of children in Hillsborough County public schools by providing engaging reading activities and books for children in at-risk or under-served communities.

Our goals:

  • Share and promote the excitement and enjoyment of reading with children, through regular active small group reading sessions;
  • Assist school-aged children in improving their ability to read and comprehend at grade level;
  • Expose children to a wide variety of books, including the classics;
  • Most importantly, to put books into the hands of children who might not otherwise have them, to encourage children to take ownership of their reading.

The program utilizes community volunteers coordinating with the Hillsborough County Public School System and the Friends of the Library to, on a regular, weekly basis, place caring and engaged readers and mentors in positive group reading sessions with at-risk and under-served children.

The John Germany Young Readers Initiative is the vision of the late John Germany, a student during the Depression years in Hillsborough County public schools, who graduated from Plant City High School in 1940. John was an attorney, judge, founding member of the Holland & Knight law firm, leader in the development of the downtown Tampa library which bears his name, and a lifelong reader and dreamer.  John Germany always credited his long and fine career and love of reading, to gift of a book which he received at a young age.