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The Minot Public Library’s Summer Reading program is designed to promote the importance of reading during non-school months, but for the last two years, the program has also benefitted area non-profit organizations.
“The children were getting small prizes for reading 20 minutes a day, but I also wanted them to be part of making a difference in their community,” Children’s Librarian Randi Monley said. “We want to choose organizations that work directly with children, but also ones that these kids can relate to so they know who they’re helping.”
Monley said 722 children participated in this year’s Summer Reading program, a dramatic rise from last year’s 409 readers.
“I went into the schools before end of the year to speak with classes to stress the importance of reading in the summer,” she said. “I think that helped reinforce the value of our program.”
Here’s how the program works:
The participants in the Summer Reading program received a token representing 10 cents for every day they read for 20 minutes. The Library selected three local charities, and the readers decided which of the organizations they wanted to donate their money to; other free will donations were collected, too.
The funding for the readers was provided by Friends of the Library, a local non-profit group that works to promote the Library’s mission. Ackerman-Estvold then matched all the funds raised by the readers.
On Aug. 23, Companions for Children received $714.68, Independence Inc. received $698.79, and Project BEE received $791.69.
Monley said the program has been helped participants learn valuable lessons beyond the importance of reading. Each organization’s donation jar included information about that group so children could learn about where their donation is going.
“It’s a great conversation starter for the parents and their children,” she said. “We see the parents and kids talking about each group. The kids are fabulous and they want to donate to everything.”