'Beary good' reading: Booker Bear Challenge keeps youngsters reading

'Beary good' reading: Booker Bear Challenge keeps youngsters reading

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Celebration events for the Bettendorf Public Library Foundation’s Booker Bear Reading Challenge honor young readers from Pleasant Valley and Bettendorf schools who completed the challenge.  

The first of the celebrations, sponsored by Ascentra Credit Union, Bettendorf, was at the library Saturday, March 7, for Pleasant Valley Community School participants.

The Booker Bear Reading Challenge invites all Pleasant Valley and Bettendorf first-graders to read 10 books within one month. Those completing the challenge are treated to a pizza party along with their families at the library. Attendance for both celebration events is expected to exceed 1,500 guests.

During the celebration events, each student is recognized by their teacher and given a plush Booker Bear and certificate of achievement.

“The Booker Bear Reading Challenge is a program that has grown so much since it started, and looking back more than 20 years now to realize we have impacted nearly 10,000 students is incredible,” said Dale Owen, Ascentra’s president and CEO. “Now the children of our very first participants are completing the challenge. We are so proud of this program and look forward to encouraging reading and literacy in a whole new generation of first graders.”

This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Booker Bear Reading Challenge celebration with the Pleasant Valley schools and the 17th year for Bettendorf.

The Library Foundation’s mascot, Booker Bear, and Ascentra’s mascot, Jumpin’ George, were on hand to take commemorative class photos with the students. Photos will be available for print at ascentra.org.  

The party for Bettendorf students will be Saturday, March 28. Look for photos in an upcoming issue of Bettendorf News.

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