Celebration of Literacy will continue for the 20th year this February in Douglas County, with three new events — a book giveaway, drive-thru at Wildlife Safari and creative competition for seventh and eighth graders in Riddle, Sutherlin and Yoncalla.

The “Blast Off For The Gigantic Book Giveaway” will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 6 at Fir Grove Elementary School in Roseburg. There will be books for children of all ages, from infants through high school, that will be distributed at the drive-thru event.

Umpqua Community College athletes will help with the set-up of the event, in which each child will receive four books.

Altrusa International sponsors the month-long celebration, which is co-chaired by Mary Marshall and Maxine Durst.

Durst said during past celebrations they’d give away more than 7,000 books, but she’s not sure what to expect during a pandemic.

“We started planning this a lot sooner,” she said. “This is our 20th anniversary and we wanted to celebrate. We knew we could still do something meaningful.”

Several local libraries also have events scheduled, Roseburg Public Library will have an event on Feb. 9, Glendale Library on Feb. 12 and Canyonville Library on Feb. 27. Riddle Library will have events from Feb. 2-11 and Lower Umpqua Library in Reedsport will have events from Feb. 2-26.

“Reading is the foundation to all learning, critical to future success and it can be quite entertaining,” Durst said.

A Celebration of Literacy event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Wildlife Safari, where Douglas County children will receive a book and free admission into the drive-thru. There will also be a story children can read via plaques in the Safari Village.

Elementary school students will also be able to view a YouTube compilation of skits performed by Roseburg High School theater students.

An event titled “One County, One Book” is open to seventh and eighth grade students in Riddle, Sutherlin and Yoncalla. Students in those towns are asked to read “New Kid” by Jerry Craft and submit a creative summary on the book, such as a report, poster, diorama, video, musical score, or play. Students can win cash prizes, which will be awarded in mid-March. The entries into the competition should be dropped off at libraries in those towns.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a few of the classic events, including the Reading Fair and Battle of the Books were canceled.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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Dear Millennials, What you're viewing in the photo are called books. Books are paper pages with printed words on them, a collection of pages telling an imaginative story, or providing facts. These paper pages are held together with what's called a binding of hard, pressed cardboard and most books are also covered with a colorful "dust jacket". You can find them in libraries and book stores where you'll no doubt also find senior citizens who most enjoy this "old school" activity of finding, buying, and reading books without the benefit of a "magic lantern". Kindle on Millennials, Kindle on. [wink]

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