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Readers’ rewards

Amid the merriment Tuesday afternoon, William White, director of the Troy Public Library, gave a thumbs up to the library’s Summer Reading Program, calling it the best program in his four years as director.

“I say that because of the enthusiasm of the readers, the variety of the programs and the response of the children and their parents,” White said. “And, we have received many compliments about our summer reading program from people who were visiting relatives in Troy. The feedback has been very encouraging. Many of them said they wished the libraries in their towns had programs similar to ours. Each TPL summer reading program has gotten better than the year before and this was the best.”

The “Be Creative” Summer Reading Programfor ages four through 11 concluded with a recognition celebration for the top readers in each age group Tuesday afternoon at the East Central Mental Health facitily.

“In recognizing our top readers, we did things a little differently this summer,” said Teresa Colvin, children’s librarian. “We wanted to make sure that the top readers got the recognition they deserve. So we tapped into the theme, ‘Be Creative’ and came up with the idea of a carnival theme for the party with cake, popcorn, cotton candy, peanuts and chips and dip.”

But before the children were served banquet-style, first things came first.

“The reason for the celebration was to recognize the top readers and they all did an outstanding job,” Colvin said. “I’m not sure of the exact number of books that were read but it was in the thousands. Every child who participated is to be congratulated but we wanted to do something really special for the top readers.”

The top reader in all groups was an eight-year-old, Veronica Cooper. She read an “astounding” 500 books from May to mid-July.

“Veronica loves to read and she is certainly to be congratulated,” Colvin said. “Five hundred books. That’s amazing.”

The top readers in each age division were: Kelton Coppagee, ages four and five; Jessica Wilcox, age six; Sha’mari Cole, age seven; Veronica Cooper, age eight; Dani Daniel, age nine; Adam Bensinger, age 10; and Ambrasshia Byrd, age 11.

Second place readers were: Abigail Garrett, ages four and five and Colton Taylor, third; Hunter Coppage, age six; Ally Young, age seven; Mary Elizabeth Grissett, age eight; Weston Brown, age nine; Clayton Suel, age 10; and Mario Ramirez, age 11.

The top readers were also treated to a variety of carnival games and prizes.

“This was a great ending for our summer reading program and I think that all of the children enjoy themselves,” Colvin said. “I know that all of them were deserving of the recognition. They are our top readers.

“We had about 150 children, ages four through 11, to participate in the summer reading program and all of them are to be commended for making reading a part of their summer activities.”

White said plans are already under way for the 2010 summer reading program at Troy Public Library.

“And, if you think this year’s summer program was great, just wait until next year,” he said.