The La Grande Literacy Alliance, in partnership with Mountain Valley Reading Council, sponsored a community event September 19th at the Willow gym. The goal of the event was to promote reading in the home. Originally planned as an outdoor activity in a city park, the event was moved to the gym due to weather constraints.
Although media and school-wide flyers quickly announced the change, organizers were concerned the change would affect attendance. However, approximately 50 families attended. "We had multiple comments expressing appreciation and requests to repeat the event," said Debbie Mills, member of the La Grande Literacy Alliance.
As families arrived at the event, tables of free books were on display for readers between ages 1 - 10. Families selected four books to read, then chose their favorite to take home. They recorded their selections on a "passport" and traded the passport for snacks before leaving.
Alliance volunteers roamed the crowd encouraging readers, restocking book displays and explaining the event to families as they entered the venue.
Each child left with approximately 20 minutes of reading, a free book and a cookie! 50 passports were collected at the end of the evening, representing 200 books read and 50 free books given away to children.