Thursday, January 26, 2017

‘Ashland Reads’ returns to local schools

Book-plate design combining black text with the yellow and blue spoke-and-wheel logo of Rotary International, against white background. Text reads: 'Donated to Bellview library by the Ashland Rotary Club as part of the Ashland Reads literacy program. Program partners: Friends of the Ashland Public Library. Ashland Interact Club. Treehouse Books'
Ashland Reads” is taking place again in Ashland elementary schools, courtesy of the Rotary Club of Ashland. One of the highlights of classrooms’ library time this week was a first-grade teacher reading to her students, one of this year’s “Ashland Reads” selections.

As explained by “SOU Honors College” in a post last May to Facebook, some teachers and members of the Rotary Club chose seven hardcover picture books. Each of the nine first-grade classrooms in Ashland received a set of the books.

What happened last school year is happening again, right now; Ashland School District first-grade teachers are reading to their students from this year’s set of books.

Each student will have the opportunity to choose his or her favorite book and, during a celebration, each student will receive a copy of the book he or she selected.

Last spring, 91 children received their very own book.

Bellview library also received a set of last year’s books; I designed this bookplate to identify those donations and commemorate “Ashland Reads.”

This program, which is in national in scope, started in Caspar, Wyo. Last spring’s celebration marked the program’s debut in Ashland, Oregon. Rotary Club of Ashland funded the event with a $3,500 grant and other club funds. It was assisted by Friends of the Ashland Public Library, Treehouse Books and the Interact Club of Ashland (a Rotary-sponsored club for teens).

Speaking as a lifetime reader who enjoyed early access to books, I think “Ashland Reads” is huge. It has the potential to dramatically change children’s lives for the better. I’m grateful to everyone involved in giving children their very own books.

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