Naperville READS

In its 13 year Naperville READS is getting local students excited about reading. The local program headed by Anderson’s Bookshop connects the authors who write the books with the students that read them.

“The beauty of it is that it gets the most reluctant reader involved, so that one student that can’t be reached – this program will reach them,” said Co-Owner of Anderson’s Bookshop, Becky Anderson.

Anderson’s bookshop teamed up with book publishers Harper Collins, the Naperville Public Library, and both local school districts to bring the authors of the 12 books into their schools.

“Harper developed this really cool program called Class Act, and what they do is they put three authors together. One is the emcee and the two others are in a battle for the kid’s attention. They split up into teams and do questions and cheers, they do all sorts of fun stuff where they are rooting for their author. The beauty of it is that it gets the most reluctant reader involved, so that one student that can’t be reached – this program will reach them,” said Anderson.

To get everyone involved a board carefully chooses the books and with a dozen books to choose from there is something for everyone.

“We choose books that we know will connect with kids, that appeal to a wide variety of readers, no matter what genre or what type of books you read. But its really about the preparation that takes place, what the librarians do and what the school teachers do to get kids excited about these books,” said Anderson.

On top of the authors visiting fourth and fifth graders in both districts, authors also participate in evening events at North Central College’s Pfeiffer Hall.

“We hope that kids are so excited that they want to see these authors again, or maybe see the authors that they didn’t get to see in school and bring their siblings and moms and dad and get the whole family excited about reading some great books,” said Anderson.

Even though Naperville READS is only one week a year, Anderson hopes its message of joining together as a community to read is apparent year round.

“Books are the bridge to so many things, there is a book, a subject matter, a genre, and there are words that connect us all. It’s proven time and time again what books can do for our mind, souls, and hearts but also our communities, and when we unite people through the joys of reading and meeting authors it makes us all better,” said Anderson.


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