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Ouachita Parish Public Library concludes Summer Reading Challenge

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 10:15 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Ouachita Parish Public Library recently wrapped up its 73rd Summer Reading Challenge. Book lovers could win prizes by simply reading and participating in community challenges.

Ouachita Parish readers logged over one million pages by the end of the two-month-long challenge.

There were three age categories for kids, teens and adults. Each group had different page goals, prizes and programs. Page goals ranged from 250 to 1500 pages.

Teens and adults could enter for a tablet as the grand prize. Ten children who completed the challenge received a bicycle from the Kiwanis of Greater Ouachita. Picking up litter, playing outside and or finding a Heron on the Bayou earned readers a bonus.

Communications coordinator Danielle Kelley Tolbird says reading during the summer is important to set a child up for success in the upcoming school year.

“Every child likes different kinds of books, and that’s okay. So what you liked as a kid may not be what your child likes. And that’s all right. So what we encourage parents to do is bring their kids to the library and let them explore the children’s section, let them pick out their own books, sign them up for their own library card, and make reading fun,” Tolbird said.

Tolbird advises parents to read out loud with their children to have a bonding experience and help stimulate brain development.

Ouachita Parish Public Library will be starting up its Story Time program in September. Children can attend Story Time at all ten branches to read stories, sing songs, make crafts and play games with social distancing protocols.

Youth services coordinator LaKeisha Bosworth says it’s important for parents to think of ways to encourage reading.

“I think, as parents, it’s important that they not only see you reading, but you’re also reading aloud with them, asking them about the books that they’ve read, what they’ve done at school that day, you know, maybe different subjects, what they learn. So all of those things make a difference,” Bosworth said.

Bosworth says they also plan to have some activities for teens starting in October.

You can find more information about the Ouachita Parish Library on their website.

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