Library program encourages and rewards students who read

Local children who spent their summer reading as part of the Waynesville Library's summer reading program were recognized Saturday with a pizza party and award ceremony.
Connie Buttram, Waynesville branch manager, said 91 children successfully finished the summer reading goals. For children from infants to those in Kindergarten, a total of 50 books had to be read by them or to them by their guardians. For first through third graders, a total of 30 books had to be successfully read during the summer, and fourth graders had to read at least 20.
The top readers in each category were honored during the event. For the youngest children, Leo and Valerie Schultz were recognized after their mother, Tia, read a total of 450 books to the toddlers. In the firstgrade category, Faith Spare was the top finisher with 141 books read and Starr Slay was a close second with 128 books. And in the fourth grade group, Michael King read 80 books, followed by Krystal Ferrer, who read 64.
Buttram said she was happy with the number of children who took part and the enthusiasm they showed for the program.
"We want them to keep up their reading skills during the summer so we really want to encourage them," she said. "We had a good year and we just want them to keep reading books."
All the top readers proved that they enjoy books, simply by the number they completed during their summer break. But the Shultz children, who also include Valerie and Leo's brother, Johnathon, took reading a step above and beyond.
"Anytime they want to read, I read with them," Tia said. "We do mainly read when they get up though, and then again before bed.
"It expands their vocabulary," she added. "I think reading to them and with them is really important because it broadens their perspective and increases their imagination."
Although the summer program has now concluded, special events are held at the library, including Thursday story time for children and occasional guest speakers. The next guest speaker will be Gabe Gabrielle, a NASA engineer and motivational speaker who will be at the Waynesville Library Friday at 2 p.m.