Wyoming public library patrons might see some big crowds of little readers tomorrow. On Tuesday, May 14, more than 7,500 books will be distributed to first-graders at Wyoming Reads literacy celebrations held in each of the state’s 23 counties. Many of the celebrations will include a picnic lunch and a special fairytale about “The Good Queen Sue,” a tribute to Sue Jorgensen, in whose memory this event was established.
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.
Earlier this year, children had the opportunity to choose which book they would like to receive from the following options:
- Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings
- We Don’t Eat Our Classmates! by Ryan T. Higgins
- The Princess and the Pit Stop by Tom Angleberger
- Twig by Aura Parker
- Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson
- Crunch, the Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap
Wyoming Reads celebrations focus on the joy of reading, highlighted by each child receiving a hardback book with their name printed inside the cover, donated by the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation. Each of the six titles had its share of eager readers who wanted their own copy to take home, but Can I Be Your Dog? was this year’s favorite.
John Jorgensen established the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation in 1996 and founded the Casper Cares, Casper Reads festival to honor his late wife’s commitment to children and reading. The celebration was expanded statewide as Wyoming Reads in 2006.
“Sue was always very dedicated to children and to literacy,” says John. “She believed that literacy was the foundation for everything in life.” That vision continues to fuel this community literacy initiative.
Partners in this year’s Wyoming Reads celebration include the John P. Ellbogen Foundation, Tonkin Foundation, McMurry Foundation, Casper Rotary Club, Natrona County Recreation Joint Powers Board, Friends of the Natrona County Library, and a number of generous individuals.
For more information on Wyoming Reads, visit wyomingreads.org.