Inside The Library: County Reads Jr. promotes youth literacy

The County Reads Authors Festival is in full swing once again. For the past 11 years, members of our community have come together to discuss and defend great Canadian-written books in a panel discussion. The event has been so successful that a new branch of the County Reads tree is growing. This spring, County Reads will be joined for the second year in a row by County Reads Jr.!

Last year marked the first time that our elementary and secondary aged students were included in the festival. We started with three students from St. Gregory’s Catholic School, each defending a book by a different Canadian author. Students filmed their arguments and thoughts and the videos were shared over the Prince Edward County Public Library’s social media accounts. The winning video had over 60 “likes”, shares, and over 1500 views! We were so thrilled with the uptake of last year’s event that this year we are going even bigger.

For County Reads Jr. 2019, students from multiple schools, grades, and ages are participating in this friendly competition. We have decided to add an interesting twist to this year’s competition: all the students will be reading books by the same author, Eric Walters, whom we will have the pleasure of hosting for an afternoon of presentations. He has written numerous books for all ages, from board books and pictures books for our youngest of readers, all the way up to young adult fiction for teens. Students from all grade groups have selected a book and a representative from their class to defend that book. All the videos will then compete against each other, based on age, to determine the County’s favourite Eric Walters books!

We are thrilled to be joined by so many interested students from Prince Edward County Schools. Filming and editing are currently underway, meaning that the videos are not far behind! Keep an eye on our website at peclibrary.org and our social media, @peclibrary on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more details and voting!

The winners will be announced and invited to the County Reads event on Thursday, April 25 at St. Mary Magdalene Church. They will also get the opportunity to meet Eric Walters during the presentations for students on Monday, April 29th. Tickets for the County Reads and Author’s Festival events can be found and purchased at peclibrary.org/countryreads. This is a great opportunity for young readers to dig into Walters’ books; check one out from the Library today!

Don’t forget to get your teams together for trivia night, coming up on April 15! The County Canteen is sponsoring this event on behalf of the Library, and the Canteen’s Nat Wollenberg will be hosting. The Canteen will be operating a cash bar with snacks and drinks, and tickets are $25 per person. Teams should consist of no more than four people, but feel free to just come and find a team on the night. The theme is Canadian music (plus other general interest categories), so start brushing up! Proceeds will go to the Picton Library’s expansion campaign. Get your tickets at peclibrary.org/trivia.

– Julie Lane