CANYONVILLE — The month-long Celebration of Literacy kicked off Saturday with the theme Reading Around the World in which 10 different libraries in the Douglas County will participate through Feb. 8.

The event is organized by Altrusa and the Umpqua Literacy Council. The Canyonville Community Library hosted the first event focusing on England with books like “What you don’t know about Kings and Queens of England," many books from British authors, posters of England and story time with English stories for the kids.

Co-chair of the Celebration of Literacy 2020, Maxine Durst, who organized the event along with co-chair Mary Marshall, said each library selected its own country to highlight.

“They’re all doing some kind of education program that deals with their country,” Durst said. “Some of them are doing food, some are doing music, some doing reading, some are just having displays and some are making a program out of it.”

At Canyonville Saturday afternoon, Linda Joyce, a volunteer with the library read stories to a group kids that were gathered in the library, and the kids also got to take part in craft activities and snacks and it was all focused around the England theme.

Carol Hilderbrand, president of the Canyonville Friends of the Library, said the event is aimed at the younger kids top get them interested in reading.

“This is mainly for elementary age but we like to include the younger ones because we try to make it a family event, not just for the kids,” Hilderbrand said. “So we try and have activities that are simple for the little guys, but can be more complex for the older ones.”

Sarah Sebastian of Canyonville brought her 7-year-old son Bob who had been learning about the United Kingdom before the event.

“We’ve been bringing him to story time since he was three, so he knows all the librarians and it’s fun for him to do a craft and play with other kids,” Sebastian said. “He loves to read.”

And that’s what the Celebration of Literacy is all about. The purpose of the program is to provide a county-wide motivational reading program. It’s a four week immersion into reading and reading-related activities throughout Douglas County with an emphasis on children’s activities.

Carrie Lovemark of Days Creek brought her 2¾-year-old son to the event and he got to hear story time and and take part in the craft activities and Lovemark says it was a good experience for him to interact with other kids.

“This is my first time bringing my son to the library and it’s mostly socialization with other kids because we live in a rural community and there’s not a lot of other opportunities, and he’s an only child as well,” Lovemark said.

When the kids arrive at the library they receive a passport supplied by the Altrusa Club. They can go to any of the other library events and learn about other countries and if they bring their stamped passport to the Reading Fair on Sat. Feb. 22 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, with their stamped passport, they will receive an atlas to take home.

For more information on the Celebration of Literacy events go to www.celebrationofliteracy.net.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at dbain@nrtoday.com.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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