Read to Lead, a new awareness campaign started by Trey Holder, president and CEO of Mercury Retail Services, is presenting a series of reading events on September 10 for the first Let's Read Day in markets across the country in order to promote literacy and the fun of reading to children.

"We started Read to Lead to help raise awareness of the falling literacy rates in the U.S. and encourage the publishers, retailers and corporate America to get involved and make a difference," Holder said. Read to Lead promotes reading as an essential component of creation, working with charities and communities in an attempt to bridge "the tremendous financial, material and informational resources that are available and on-the ground literacy initiatives in communities across the country," he added.

Let's Read Day is a central part of Read to Lead's campaign, and the organization has received significant support from publishers, both financially and in the form supplying books for giveaways. Supporting publishers include Bright Sky Press, Random House, Penguin, Harper Collins, Harlequin, Hachette Book Group, Simon and Schuster, Time Warner Retail, DSI, Conde Nast, Hearst and Wild Onion Press.

Holder has plans to make Let's Read Day an annual event, and the goal is to triple the number of events by next year. This year's events include a Very Hungry Caterpillar character appearance in Colorado and a "Passport to Reading" event featuring the Cat in the Hat, Froggy, Junie B. Jones and Pokey Puppy.

For a full list of events, please visit