Weekly celebrity readings to kids start June 9 at Boys & Girls Club

Some of Cleveland’s most familiar faces will be reading to kids this summer.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, in conjunction with Slavic Village Reads, will on June 9 kick off a weekly outdoor event in which community leaders, journalists and public figures will read to Club members in the new Soeder Family Garden, located at BGCC’s Broadway Club, 6114 Broadway Ave. Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams will be the first celebrity reader at 1 p.m. June 9.

Other guest readers will soon be announced by BGCC.

Last fall, workers completed the transformation of an unused courtyard filled with rocks, weeds and debris to a garden designed to entice butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Landscape architect and business owner Bill Soeder, the brother of BGCC President and CEO Ron Soeder, was the single largest contributor to the project, donating design services, plants, trees, mulch and other materials as well as all labor and equipment. Ron Soeder has headed BGCC for the past 11 years.

A bench bearing the Soeder Family Garden name will be unveiled on June 9.

“We are ecstatic about our new venture this summer,” said Jazmine Walker, BGCC’s academic success manager. “Our celebrity reading series will be a treat to members because of the potential to meet leaders that impact the community, and the chance to learn the importance of philanthropy.”

Slavic Village recently became the first Little Free Library Neighborhood in the nation. One of the Little Free Library boxes – places where people can borrow and return books – is outside the Broadway Club.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland provides safe, fun places for kids after school. The organization, which has 15 locations in Cleveland, Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland, served more than 7,000 youths last year. BGCC focuses on academic success, healthy lifestyles and character development.