By Tim Leeds
Children in the Havre area read the equivalent of 148 days in the Havre-Hill County Library from June 6 to July 26.
Bonnie Williamson, library director, said 360 children took part in "The Reading Road Trip U.S.A.," recording 212,627 minutes of reading and being read to. The library awarded incentives to 159 of the readers who met their goal in the program.
"The real prize is the remarkable kids who developed the hobby of reading and the ability to read so well and easily," Williamson said.
Katie Hodges, daughter of Tim and Kathleen Hodges of Havre, earned the top reader spot of the program with 11,730 minutes read.
The summer reading program, planned and organized by children's librarian Carrie Wilson, was set up to promote reading over the summer. The Friends of the Havre-Hill County Library and the Havre Rotary Club sponsored the event, and local businesses contributed toward the prizes and incentives awarded to readers who met their goals.
Children participating in the program were given a chance to win prizes for coming to the library. Whenever the kids came in to check out a book or record the minutes they read, they could enter their names in a drawing for 30 prizes.
Several large cans were decorated by the children at the library's story time, and the Reading Road Trip kids could drop a slip with their names in the can for the prize they wanted to try to win. The library's board drew the names of the 30 prize-winners at the end of the Road Trip.
At the close of the program, the Montana Actors Theatre wrapped up the activities with a performance of Dr. Seus's "The Cat in the Hat."
The top readers in the different age categories were:
Ages 3 and younger, listening to stories, Patrick and Molly Hodges with 2,160 minutes each; Tarjei Knudsvig with 1,825 minutes; Genae and Kaelyn Kaftan with 1,105 minutes each.
Ages 4-7, reading and listening, Katie Hodges with 11,730 minutes; Maggie Hodges, 3,840 minutes; Crystal Wilson, 3,335 minutes; Laura Barkley, 2,210 minutes.
Ages 8-10: Marissa Wilson with 3,415 minutes; Thomas David, 3,391; Robert Wilson, 2,945; Brent Donoven, 2,791.
Ages 11 and up: Julia Allison, 7,812 minutes; Ben Kolis, 7,470; Ruth Barkley, 7,160; Nicole Moody, 6,000.
Williamson said the library staff wanted to thank the families who participated in the Road Trip, the businesses that contributed and the Friends of the Library and the Rotary Club for sponsoring the program.