Booker Bear is cute and cuddly, and a treat for elementary school students as they learn reading skills.

The Booker Bear program, initiated by the American Library Association and offered through schools, provides a free stuffed teddy bear to each first grade student who reads 10 books.

The books a child reads are tracked by parents, and children who meet the 10 book goal are honored with a Happy Joe's pizza party and awards celebration.

Ascentra Credit Union sponsors the program in Pleasant Valley and Bettendorf school districts.

On March 4, students from Grant Wood, Herbert Hoover, Mark Twain, Neil Armstrong, Paul Norton and Thomas Jefferson elementary schools were honored.

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