In 1802 a rough log house was erected as the first school house in Reading at Mechanic and East Streets. This old school house, was about 20 feet square with clapboard roof held in place by weight-poles. The eves were but little higher than a man could reach. Light was admitted through openings covered with greased paper. The chimney was built on the outside with wooden slats and a mortar made of mud and straw with a fireplace inside of mammoth dimensions. The clapboard roof formed the ceiling; the floor and seats were made of puncheon slabs and the writing desks of rough boards supported on wood pins driven into the logs that formed the walls.
In 1817 the first brick school building was built in Reading on the site of the log cabin school. Between 1817 and 1863 one important Ohio Law affected the school systems. This was the Akron Law of 1847. This law started public education as we know it today, establishing Boards of Directors or Boards of Education and enabling them to tax within certain limits.
In 1863 the two story brick building containing four rooms, each heated in winter by a large canon stove, was erected. The cost was $3500. And it was in use for 27 years until 1890.
In January 1890, 6 teachers and the principal marched from East Street to a new school building on the grounds of the present Central Elementary. This school was built on a lot purchased at a cost of $3,460. The Board sold bonds amount to $20,000 and at that time the Board was levying 6.5 mills for operating expenses of the school district. It incurred a 3 mill bond indebtedness for construction of the school. In 1916 a new wing was added. The Board issued bonds totaling $60,000. for a new school building to be built on the grounds of the old building. This 1916 building is still part of the Central School. Several of these rooms are still in use today. By 1920 Reading’s population had grown to 4560.
In 1922 a high school was started with 4 teachers and 65 students and in 1924 the school became Reading City School District. The present Hilltop Elementary was built in 1956 and the present Jr/Sr High School was built in 1963.
The Reading Community City Schools currently employs 150 staff and has an enrollment of 1436 students. A typical graduating class has 100 students graduating and 86% go on to college or technical schools.