Frankee Guido, 4, put gems and stickers on her Transformers mask before pulling it over her eyes and trying to decide on a super power.

Her mother, Katie Guido, led her around to the different booths, including the superhero mask-making, on Saturday at the annual reading fair put on by Altrusa International and the Umpqua Literacy Council.

“The girls remembered every detail from last year and insisted we come again,” Guido said. “They love it. It keeps us coming back.”

Organizer Karen Fager said the groups try to present reading in a fun environment to get kids engaged in reading.

“This is for preschool and grade-school children to foster a real interest in literacy,” Fager said. “It has grown each year. Hopefully at the end of the day, everyone will go home with a bunch of books.”

The event usually brings in about 500 people and Gail Jackson from the literacy council said they sometimes give away up to 900 books.

“We really like to go home with no books,” Jackson said. “We just want to get books in kids’ hands and they don’t have to have one to exchange.”

Some kids like Emma Vigoa, 9, leave with a plastic bag full of books like “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “A Swiftly Tilting Planet,” “The Horse and His Boy” and “The Prince and the Pauper.” She also brought a book to read.

“I would like to take five with me, but my dad says that’s too many,” Emma said.

Her dad, Angel Vigoa, walked with her around the booths which included a bounce house, a balloon artist, a sister city booth with volunteers teaching about Japanese and Chinese culture and language, a superhero mask-making station and an art booth.

“I know she loves books,” Vigoa said. “She loves to read. We brought some books to donate as well — return the favor, because they are doing a really nice thing. It’s a nice way to get out on a Saturday, especially a rainy Saturday.”

Tayten Keplinger, 8, handled the California King Snake brought by the Wildlife Safari but also made sure to check out the book.

“I love the reading fair,” Tayten said. “I love the books, the activities and everything they put into it. Other people should read. It doesn’t have to be just homework. Reading is a fun activity to do and something good to do with your time.”

Janelle Polcyn can be reached at or 541-957-4204. Or follow her on Twitter @JanellePolcyn.

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Janelle Polcyn is a reporter at The News-Review, graduated from the University of Texas, and is a podcast enthusiast.

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