Roanoke named first ever All-America City Hall of Fame Winner

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) -- .The National Civic League has recognized Roanoke as an All-America City a record seven times. And now Roanoke can add Hall of Fame Winner to the list of honors.

The latest recognition acknowledges Roanoke's continuing commitment to the Star City Reads program, which promotes reading proficiency among children.

And for the Roanoke Public Library's Feed and Read program, which has served more than 50,000 meals since it started in 2014.

"I'm just saying to all of Roanoke, be proud of that," said Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea. "I'm not saying that we're a perfect city, but it says we're doing a lot of things the right way. And I think that means so much."

Lea will accept the Hall of Fame award from the National Civic League later this month in Denver.

"We are looking for projects that demonstrate inclusive decision-making processes to create healthy communities for all, and particularly for populations currently experiencing poorer health outcomes," the NCL website wrote.

Roanoke in particular, was recognized as this year's Hall of Fame for the continued work and advancement of the Star City Reads (SCR) initiative and Feed and Read program, led by the Roanoke Public Libraries, a collaborative effort by the community to ensures all children are proficient at reading by the third grade.

"Since winning the 2012 All-America City Award and engaging in work to increase early educational outcomes for low-income children," the award wrote. "Roanoke has become increasingly aware of the obstacles children and families in poverty face."

Since the Feed and Read program launched five years ago, the program has fed over 37,000 meals to children in the city. 10,000 of which were served in the first three months.

The NCL aims to advance civic engagement within the community and this year's All-America City theme was "Creating Healthy Communities Through Inclusive Engagement."

To read the full recognition by the National Civic League, check here.