It was a flurry of activity during the Oakhurst Branch Library’s Read for the Win finale last week. Sponsors and gold donors were recognized with special framed certificates, library staff Leilani Cummings created a photo montage of young readers which was projected overhead, volunteers were thanked by loud applause and cheers, and branch manager Dale Rushing was surprised with a colorful vase of fresh flowers.
“It’s fun to read, isn’t it?” Rushing began to roaring cheers. Then the moment of truth finally arrived - the much anticipated announcement of this year’s reading winners.
In first place were: Aiden Pollock, 6, with 2,835 minutes (pre-K to first grade); Desmond Dent, 6, with 2,668 minutes (second - fourth grade); Dustin Mayer, 10, with 5,798 minutes (fifth and sixth grades); and Lizah Fickling with 8,168 minutes (seventh - twelfth grades). These readers won gift cards for area restaurants or shops.
“Our summer reading and art programs were an amazing success once again this year,” Rushing continued. “We were truly excited with the growth of both our children and teen programs.”
About 119 attended the summer art program, while 235 children/teens participated in the seven-week summer reading program. Each time a reading log was turned in, the child received a free book donated by Sierra Tel, along with a coupon from fast foods or other area businesses. A total of 259,663 reading minutes (4,328 hours) were logged.
Rushing stressed that these programs wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of the sponsors and donors. Using funding donated by gold sponsors, Rushing was able to purchase special prizes for the four lucky winners whose names were drawn.
Grand prize winners of the bikes were fourth-grader Harold Mayer, and first-grader Jeremiah Wilson, while fifth-grader Reesa Geyer and ninth-grader Charlotte Collins won FitBits.
“I want to give special heartfelt thanks to all of our sponsors and donors for their continuing generosity,” Rushing said. “The staff at the Oakhurst Library is honored to serve our community in many ways, so come see us and get out of the heat.”
This is the third year Laura Williams and her three little readers have participated in the summer program.
“This encourages kids to keep up with their reading during the summer They can lose so much during summer break, and programs like this help out so much. This program first offers an incentive to read, but then kids find out that they really like to read, which is incentive in itself.”
Gold donors included Yosemite Bank, Pizza Factory, Oakhurst Sierra Rotary, Yosemite Brokerage, Reimer’s Candy & Gifts, Sierra Tel, Round Table, Oakhurst Sierra Sunrise Rotary, Me ‘n Eds, and Friends of the Library.
The donors gave $200 or more for the summer reader program, while the sponsors donated gifts or certificates.
Golden 1 Credit Union was the platinum donor, and as such, they donated half the library’s summer reading budget.