The Joy of Books at Wyoming Reads

May 19, 2021

Five women stand outside behind a sign that says "Happy Wyoming Reads Day" with library building in the background

Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon and Natrona County Library staff with a welcoming message to students on Wyoming Reads day, May 18. From left to right: Chelsie Troutman, Teen/Youth Services Specialist; Jennifer Beckstead, Youth Services Manager; Jennie Gordon; Lisa Scroggins, Executive Director; and Kate Mutch, Assistant Director.

Wyoming Reads, held in all 23 counties, gives a hardback picture book to keep to every Wyoming first-grade student. More than 6,800 students received a book to cherish that they picked from this year’s six selections.

Last year, the event had to be postponed until the fall with children out of school due to the pandemic. This year, it’s back on schedule, although with accommodations for current COVID restrictions and concerns in different communities.

Wyoming Reads is a program of the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation. It began in 1999 as “Casper Cares, Casper Reads” and expanded statewide in 2006. John Jorgensen established the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation and the annual celebration to honor his late wife’s commitment to literacy and books. Wyoming Reads uses the State Library’s Central Acquisitions program to purchase books at steep discounts to stretch donated dollars.

We hope you enjoy these pictures of the happenings around the state.

Woman reading to group of first grade students in front of library shelves. Students are wearing tie-dye t-shirts.

Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon was a guest reader at Natrona County Library.

Ten first grade students, four kneeling and six standing, holding up picture books. Some students are in plaid school uniforms.

Students at John Paul II Catholic School in Gillette with their books. They celebrated Wyoming Reads last week.

Brown-haired woman with eyeglasses and blue shirt in wooden chair holding young boy who is standing in front of her and holding a Wyoming Reads bag.

Kate Mutch with her grandson Theodore, who is a first grader in Sheridan at Sagebrush Elementary, which celebrated Wyoming Reads last week. Kate, the Assistant Director at Natrona County Library, was able to join Theodore’s classroom as a special guest reader.

Five first grade students holding up Wyoming Reads bags

Students in Lovell with their Wyoming Reads bags. Middle school students volunteered as guest readers. Students from Lovell and Cowley attended the event at the HYART Theater.

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