Our mission is to connect, create and guide a multigenerational community of lifelong learners and spirited citizens as they strive for academic excellence. We are especially reminded of what that phrase “spirited citizenship” means during an election season. We’re not going to talk politics here, but we would like to talk about some practical rights and responsibilities that we all have as “spirited citizens” within our own learning community.  

Libraries Support Remote Learning

As residents of Cleveland and/or Cuyahoga County, we are fortunate to have access to a wealth of free literacy resources that benefit all ages. The Cleveland Public Library and Cuyahoga County Public Library both offer e-cards so you can easily sign up online and you and your children can borrow electronic content to read on any device. So you can read, watch, and listen to new books with your child, even from your phone. 

You can apply for a library card from the Cleveland Public Library or Cuyahoga County Public Library websites. Once you have a library card (or e-card), you can find age-appropriate titles easily through applications like TumbleBookshooplaOverdrive for Kids (for any device but mainly computers/kindle fire), or Overdrive’s simplified app Libby (specifically for phones/tablets). These apps can be downloaded to your phone or any device and will take you to collections of eBooks, animated talking picture books, chapter books, videos, comics and more, making it impossible not to find something fun that interests your child. Every child has a right to an outstanding education and learning to read helps to empower them in all other areas of learning. These open resources can help nurture the joy of reading that creates a lifelong reader! 

Shape Your Future: 2020 Census

Lastly, we all have some current and upcoming opportunities to exercise our rights and responsibilities as spirited citizens. If you have not yet filled out the 2020 Census, please do so. The Census determines how federal funding flows into our communities, and how many representatives each state gets in Congress. Making sure every person counts will have direct effects on the future of our community.

Renewal Levy for Cleveland Schools

Likewise, our future and our children’s future depends on fulfilling our duty to vote in the upcoming election. One of the most critical issues on the ballot this fall will be Issue 108, renewal of the Levy for Cleveland Schools. The health and continued progress of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District is vital to the health of our entire region. Although we are not CMSD schools, all of our schools are either sponsored or formally partnered with CMSD, and as such, we do receive a portion of these levy funds. This year, due to COVID, you might want to request an absentee ballot and vote from home. Our children are watching and wondering if the things they do matter. Let’s show them what spirited citizenship looks like in action.    

Brooke King is the Executive Director of the Intergenerational Schools and the mother of two Near West students and one Near West graduate.