Vail Valley celebrates reading Tuesday |

Vail Valley celebrates reading Tuesday

Vail Daily staff report
Special to the Vail Daily

VAIL, Colorado – This Tuesday marks the 12th annual celebration of Read Across America and the Vail Valley community is taking part.

The Bookworm of Edwards on Tuesday – which also is Dr. Seuss’ birthday – will collect donations of new or gently used children’s books from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. All books collected will be donated to The Magic Bus, a program of The Youth Foundation, that to provides pre-school experiences for children ages 3 to 5 years old not already enrolled in a traditional preschool program.

Often times, children who do not have the opportunity to attend a preschool program, start kindergarten without the skills needed to be successful and through The Magic Bus program, Youth Foundation staff, parents and caretakers help better prepare local children for school, said Katie Santambrogio, marketing and event director for the Youth Foundation.

“We are now servicing 140 families in Eagle County, but we still have a long waiting list,” Santambrogio said. “Soon we will be able to add a second Magic Bus to the program, doubling the number of children we are able to reach,”

Aided by the Youth Foundation, many schools will bring in local celebrities and community volunteers to read to classes for Read Across America Day. TV8’s Tricia Swenson will be reading two of her favorite books to children at Edwards Elementary on Tuesday.

“This is the second year I have participated in this event, and it is really great to be able share my love of reading,” Swenson said. “With all the other distractions out there for kids it means a lot that we dedicate this one day to demonstrate the importance of literacy.”

The Youth Foundation has also gathered high schools student volunteers to run poetry writing and reading programs at local schools.

Elizabeth Dekanich, reading specialist at Eagle County Charter Academy, says she holds a special place in her heart for Read Across America Day. Every year she plans fun activities for students and their families, and every year more and more families find a commitment to literacy. Dr. Seuss plays a huge role in her plans and this year that will include a visit from the Cat in the Hat himself, and a contest to see which students can read the most Dr. Seuss books.

“If the parents can have a little fun with it too we can get the whole family involved,” said Dekanich. “It is nice to put the focus on Dr. Seuss for this celebration of literacy.”

The Vail Public Library will provide an afternoon of games, cake, and stories for families and children of all ages from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the community room. The event is in honor of the birthday of Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, which is on Tuesday.

Local dignitaries that will read their favorite childhood stories include Vail Mayor Dick Cleveland, Vail Assistant Town Manager Pam Brandmeyer, Fire Marshall Mike Vaughan, and youth minister Erik Williams.

Children under six must be accompanied by an adult. Event is free.

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