Aug. 17 not only marked the culmination of the Department of Defense’s summer reading program across Air Force libraries, but for kids in the Edwards community, it also marked the long-awaited arrival of prizes for those who participated in the 10-week reading program.
As a way of celebrating the end of the program the Edwards Main Library, with the help of a nutritionist from the Health and Wellness Center, hosted a grand finale followed by a raffle of 12 grand prizes for kids who read at least 60 books.
“Since the theme of this year’s summer reading program was ‘Reading is so Delicious,’ there definitely had to be food involved and we were fortunate enough to have Ms. Alice Cervelli come out to today’s event and give a healthy eating presentation,” said Michael Frye, 412th Force Support Squadron, Force Development flight chief. “The main reason for this event is that it’s a very good way to get kids off on the right foot; get them reading in order to help them with their academics and to make sure that reading becomes fun for them.”
The program, which began June 8, was open to children of all ages and each child who signed up received a t-shirt with this year’s theme.
“As of today, a total of 9,120 books were read and 372 kids signed up for this year’s program, which was an increase from last year’s participation in which 8,530 books were read and 303 kids signed up,” said Alison Vasquez, Edwards Main Library director. “In addition to this, about 25 percent of the kids who were enrolled read 60 books or more.”
As part of the festivities, food recipes and samples were distributed to kids and to parents who attended the base library event. In addition to this, prizes were given out depending on the amount of books that were read.
“Overall, I think the event turned out really well and all the children seem to be have a good time,” said Jessenia Nash, military dependent. “I decided to enroll my daughters in the reading program so they could build up their reading skills and the base library made it interesting for the children by adding gifts, which was a major plus.”
Although this was the end of the DOD’s summer reading program, Frye emphasized that there are other programs throughout the year for those who frequent the library.
“There are a lot of positive things going on at this installation and across the board we’re seeing a lot more participation,” added Frye. “We encourage the base community to take advantage of the programs we offer here and we are always interested in suggestions about things we can add to either our adult or children’s collection in the library.”
For more information about upcoming library events or programs, call (661) 275-BOOK.