2020’s Wyoming Reads Day, originally scheduled for May 12, will look a little different than past years. As with so many other special events in our world at this time, Wyoming Reads recently made the difficult decision to postpone this year’s literacy celebration until the fall of 2020 in hopes that the children will be back in school by then.
Annually, Wyoming Reads gives a personalized, hardcover book to every first grade student in Wyoming. Celebrations take place across the state when the books are distributed. In the coming months, organizers will make decisions locally as to whether to choose another date to hold their events. A fall event may not be possible for every school and district with which Wyoming Reads partners, and organizers are working accordingly to accommodate as many of this year’s first graders as possible.
In October 2019, a group of area teachers, librarians, leaders, and readers selected six very special books for students. Children were able to select which books to add to their personal collection, and will be receiving their chosen book at this year’s celebration later this year. The six book selections include:
- The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach
- Nobody Hugs a Cactus by Carter Goodrich
- Cake! by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnett
- El Chupacabras by Adam Rubin
- Once Upon a Goat by Dan Richards
- High Five by Adam Rubin
The Wyoming State Library’s Central Acquisitions Program acquires these books at discounts up to 40 percent, stretching precious dollars so more books can be delivered to grateful young readers.
John Jorgensen established the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation and the Wyoming Reads celebration to honor his late wife’s commitment to literacy and books. Since its inception in 1996 in Casper, Wyoming Reads has grown to supply books to first graders in all of Wyoming’s 23 counties, as well as several other states, including Oregon and Minnesota. Over 100,000 children have received books through the combined literacy celebrations, reaching nearly 7,500 first graders in 2019 alone.