It was a proud crowd that gathered at Bosler Memorial Library on Sunday afternoon to recognize the top readers and writers of this year’s Buck a Book Literacy Campaign.
“We love being a part of this event every year,” said Melissa Killinger, the library’s assistant director of youth and family services. “It’s great to see kids doing the reading and writing in support of adult literacy.”
This was the 14th annual literacy campaign fundraiser benefiting adult education programs at the Employment Skills Center in Carlisle. The program is a joint venture between the center and Carlisle Area School District. Carlisle’s students in kindergarten to fifth grade raise funds for the center by pledging to read books for sponsor donations.
This year’s effort was one of the most successful campaigns, raising a total of $29,500 that will go toward job training and education programs at the center, said Employment Skills Center instructor Art Kunst, who coordinates the Buck a Book program.
“It’s unusual to have a nonprofit organization (like the Employment Skills Center) come into a school, but when you think about it, it makes sense. They believe in education, and we believe in education,” Kunst said.
The top three readers from each elementary school were honored on Sunday with the unveiling of their own individual poster. Each reader’s poster will hang for a year on the library’s wall of fame.
Also on Sunday, students published in this year’s “Wordy Worm” book read their work to an audience of friends and family. Each year, Buck a Buck participants are given grade-level writing prompts focusing on Wordy Worm, the campaign’s mascot. This year’s theme was “Wordy Worm Gets a Job.”
Entries were written late last year and judged by English honors students at Carlisle High School, said Malinda Mikesell, the school district’s reading supervisor. Of the hundreds who participated in this year’s essay project, 59 were selected for publication.
Evan Flickinger, a second-grader at Mt. Holly Springs Elementary School, recited his composition about Wordy Worm getting a job as a wildlife biologist as parents Luke and Jaimie Flickinger of Gardners looked on.
Nasia Carothers, a fourth-grader at Hamilton Elementary School, read aloud her essay about Wordy getting a job as a librarian. “I’m very proud,” said mother Rana Carothers.
This year’s top reader in the district was Maya Spease, a second-grader at Bellaire Elementary School, who read a total of 395 books during the two-and-a-half-week campaign in January.
Grandmother Linda Spease said Maya had actually read 395 chapters in young readers’ books during that time, not entire books. At the campaign’s second-grade level, reading a chapter counts as an entire book, such as Peggy Parish’s “Amelia Bedelia” series.
LeTort Elementary School was awarded a Wordy Award trophy for conducting the “most creative” Buck a Book Campaign by judges who visited each school. LeTort also will receive a visit from the Susquehanna Art Museum’s VanGo museum on wheels as a prize.
The Sentinel trophies were awarded to North Dickinson Elementary school for “most participation” and to Mooreland Elementary School for “most money raised.” Numerous pledge-level prizes also were distributed to students.
Finally, two classrooms from Mooreland and North Dickinson will get a trip to Harrisburg Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Person’s Concert for raising the most money on an individual room basis.
Kunst cited M&T Bank as the overall event’s main sponsor. Other sponsors were the Employment Skills Center, Leo’s Homemade Ice Cream, Cumberland County Library System, the Moose Family Fraternity, JW Music, Martson Law Offices, the Civic Club of Carlisle, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Cumberland County Historical Society, Amazon, Harrisburg Senators, the Exchange Club of Carlisle, Visiting Angels, Lamar and the Carlisle Family YMCA.