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Summer Reading finale in the park

by: Submitted Photo - Face-painted puppies Cara Todd, Sienna Alvarado and Elise Todd play at the Summer Reading finale in the park.


   The Jefferson County Library's Summer Reading Program ended with a huge grand finale July 24, at Sahalee Park.
   The event featured face painters, superhero dress-up photos, pizza and drinks, a beanbag toss, grand prize drawings, and live music from the Jefferson County Library Band.
   Special guest William Rhoan from the Warm Springs Library read a story to the assembled children.
   About 160 children from Madras, Culver, and Warm Springs came to the finale in the park along with their families.
   The Jefferson County Library also arranged for a 509-J school bus to transport 38 children from Warm Springs Early Childhood Education to the event.
   The grand finale was the culmination of the Jefferson County Library's Summer Reading Program "Dream Big--READ," coordinated by youth services specialist Lorene Forman.
   Weekly programs in June and July featured special guests, games, crafts, and giveaway items and were held in Madras, Warm Springs, and Culver.
   Over 200 children participated in these free weekly programs and 12 teen volunteers helped library staff put the programs together.
   Through a grant from the Jefferson County Cultural Coalition, every child who attended was given a free book.
   Children were asked to read books and turn in book slips describing each book they'd read over the summer. Book slips were completed and handed in by 196 children.
   A total of 1,277 book slips were submitted during the course of the summer reading program. (That's 1,277 books read just this summer).
   "Books were flying off the library shelves as kids scrambled to check out more reading material," Forman said.
   Top readers in each age category were as follows: ages birth to preschool, Noah Maldonado and Liam Jones; kindergarten, Ikena Brunoe; first grade, Olivia O'Rourke; second grade, Zahir Cabral; third grade, Tsoyah Brunoe; fourth grade, Kathryce Danzuka; fifth grade, Brianna Carvajal; sixth grade, Oudeah Brunoe; seventh grade, Jillian Sutherlin and Kara Borchert; eighth grade, Esmeralda Gamboa; and ninth grade, Gene Macy.
   "Almost every child who attended the summer reading program filled in at least one book slip," Forman said. "I enjoy seeing what kids are reading and what they have to say about their books on the slips they turn in. It's impressive that Jefferson County has so many enthusiastic young book lovers."
   The Jefferson County Library is looking forward to next year's free summer reading program, which will begin in June of 2013 with the theme "Dig into Reading."