WKYC’s Russ Mitchell visited Warner Girls Leadership Academy in Cleveland Wednesday, to salute the achievements of a roomful of young scholars.

During the past year, Warner school has seen a huge jump in its literacy scores for kindergartners through third graders.

So a team from WKYC made a special visit to congratulate students at the all-girls school.

Russ Mitchell read a story aloud, helped hand out books and encouraged the girls to read at least two books during the holiday break.

The event was part of a collaborative literacy initiative called Slavic Village Reads, sponsored by Third Federal. Monthly events were held all over the neighborhood, including a Dr. Seuss birthday party at the MetroHealth Broadway Clinic, book giveaways at churches, preschools and the Boys & Girls Club, plus nearly a dozen Little Free Library installations.

WKYC is a partner in the initiative and provided news coverage of the monthly events. Another partner, the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank, provided more than 1,000 books for giveaways.

A highlight of the year came in October, when Ohio state report cards showed that all five schools in the Slavic Village neighborhood lifted their K-3rd grade reading scores by at least one level during the past year.