The Cedar Springs Public Library’s annual campaign to get every first grader his or her own library card or access to a family card culminated in the annual “March is Reading Month Celebration” at the Kent Theatre this week for all of the first graders at Cedar Trails (11 classes) and at Creative Technologies Academy (one class).
Every first grader got in to see the movie, “Wreck-It Ralph” for free. A library card got them a free bag of popcorn.
On hand to emphasize books and reading was local children’s author, Amanda Litz, who gave away eight of her books via a raffle and sold several autographed copies. Her books are especially written for the K-2nd grades. Also on hand were three drama students from City Councilor Pam Conley’s classes at Forest Hills High School, who read and/or performed children’s books during the hour before the movie started.
The classes were split between two nights at The Kent. Between the two nights, 77 first graders saw the movie with their families and teachers, for just under 275 people. Teachers in attendance were Mrs. Herman, Mrs. Graf, Mrs. Sendler, Mr. Wolfe, Mrs. Brussow, Mrs. Holtrop and Mrs. Taylor.
The first grade library card campaign started in 2000 when then Library Board member Mike Metzger got the idea from a magazine article and thought it was a great idea and one that should be incorporated in the Cedar Springs classes to encourage reading and library use after school hours and during the summer.
Every child received a letter home to his/her parents with details on the importance of reading, how/where to get a library card, when to come celebrate READING at the Kent Theatre with family, friends, teachers and classmates.
“It’s always great to see a child walk into the library waving his/her library card in the air,” remarked Shannon Vanderhyde, Children’s Librarian at Cedar Springs.
“I love this program,” said Library Director Donna Clark. “We’ve teamed up with our local schools, families and Kent District Library now for 13 years. It’s great to partner as an extended community to promote a lifelong love of reading.”