Ralls County Library Sees Wave of Success with Summer Reading Program | Local News

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CENTER, Mo. – The Ralls County Library has partnered with R-II Schools of Ralls County to bolster its summer reading program, driving an increase in attendance from 275 youth in 2021 to approximately 400 children this year.

Leanne Hibbard Reed explained that school staff and teachers have provided educational incentives to students who visit the library to select new books to read. Buses full of eager students arrived Wednesday afternoon, dropping off books they had finished reading before browsing the shelves to pick out new literature to enjoy.

Students decorated colorful jellyfish hanging from the ceiling and an underwater scene shimmered with lights to form a backdrop for a huge cardboard shark cutout. The opposite wall was covered with an intricate depiction of a pirate ship.

Just before the next group of students arrived, Dawn Snodgrass accompanied her son, Eli, 14, and daughter, Evelyn, 11, as they picked out new books to read.

Evelyn received a bag containing a coloring book, a water gun and a novel. She’s read six books so far, and she’s really enjoyed ‘James and the Giant Peach’ and ‘The Witches’. One of his selections on Wednesday was “The River.”

Evelyn shared how the program was an enriching experience.

“It’s really fun, because I get awards and it’s something I work for,” she said. “It makes me want to read.”

Dozens of students gathered outside the counter after dropping off the books they had completed, and Reed said every student who read six books could enter a draw on June 29 for a chance to win one. two $50 fireworks gift certificates.

The students made their way to different sections of the library, quickly finding the books they most wanted to read.

Third-grade student Cooper Bland found two selections titled “I Don’t Dare You Yawn” and “Whales.” He expected his first choice to include lots of fun details.

“I learned a lot of fun things,” he says.

Sophomore Cade Fierge was also busy searching for the perfect titles. He was eager to peruse the pages of “The Twisted Ones,” noting that he was also a fan of the “Dogman” book series.

Cade was quick to mention what he liked most about the program.

“I like to read,” he says.

Third grade Zoey Schwanke has chosen “The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea” as one of her next books to check out.

“I got it because sometimes I have to babysit my cousin, and I wanted to see this book go,” she said.

Sophomore Chase Stuart carried three books that piqued his interest – “Dragon Masters: Eye of the Earthquake Dragon”, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Yoda in Action” and “Horned Lizards”. Chase’s favorite activity is story time.

Fellow sophomore Dawson Delaporte summed up what he enjoys most about the summer reading program: “I love reading books.”

Sophomore Merritt Moss proudly held up two titles from the “Goosebumps” series that he was excited to read. He chose these stories “because they put me to sleep very quickly”.

For Merritt, the reading experience opens up a new world on every page.

“I just want to have fun and learn new things from books.”

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