Summer Reading Celebration Day brings fun, games to Houlton

6 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — Local children filled the Gentle Memorial Building in Houlton Friday morning to play games and win a few prizes as part of the third annual Summer Reading Celebration Day.

The third of three events hosted by the United Way of Aroostook and Katahdin Trust, Friday’s session culminated several weeks of summer reading for area children.

“We do a ‘Summer Slide’ program with Katahdin Trust, which [provides] a backpack full of books to every first-grader in Aroostook County,” explained Sherry Locke, executive director for the United Way of Aroostook. “We do that at the end of the school year, with the idea that they will read the books throughout the summer.”

“Earlier this year, we went to all the first-grade classrooms in Aroostook County and delivered books,” said Krista Putnam, vice president of marketing for Katahdin Trust. “We do this wrap up event to celebrate all of the reading they have done this summer and to get them ready to go back to school.”

At the conclusion of summer, children are asked to return the books they have read and in exchange receive new books and back-to-school supplies, while also attending a day filled with fun and games. Similar celebrations were held in Caribou and Fort Kent earlier in the month.

Locke said about 700 backpacks went out countywide this summer, with every school in Aroostook, along with homeschoolers included in the project.

“We try to promote physical activity and family fun, while also leaving with school supplies and new books,” Locke added. “It is growing every year. The most important piece for us is for the kids to have access to books.”


(Photos by Joseph Cyr)