Wausau book challenge encourages kids to read

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 10:54 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Wausau artist Jessica Kopecky is spearheading a summer literacy program for kids starting June 19. She wants kids to think of reading as something that’s fun and stimulates the imagination.

“I thought maybe they could use some encouragement and summer’s coming and parents are trying to get their kids to read more over the summer,” Kopecky said.

She knows how difficult it can be to find the motivation to read firsthand and even wrote a book to get more kids interested.

“I’m a reluctant reader myself, so when I made the book I was thinking I would like to make sure there’s illustrations every other page or so, and I got some positive feedback that kids who don’t like to read enjoy reading it,” Kopecky said.

The feedback motivated her to create “Sandy’s Summer Splash Into Reading.” Participating kids have five weeks to log how many minutes they read each week with prizes for the top readers at the end.

Clean Slate Coffee owner Jen Fox was the first business to join forces with the program and says it would have made her more of a reader as a kid.

“I think maybe if there was an incentive like this one. This one’s fun, and kids are going to want to win those prizes and if that had been around then, maybe,” Fox said.

Fox also saw the struggle her own kids had keeping up during the pandemic and believes the program can help younger kids stay on track.

“Online learning was really tough, and it set a lot of people back,” Fox said.

Other businesses providing prizes to top readers are the Greater Wausau Children’s Museum, Sawmill Adventure Park, Hey Hey Vacay Travel, and Janke Book Store.

Office Enterprises Inc. and Inspired by Design have each pledged one penny per minute of reading time to the Early Birds Rotary Club Reading To Go program for children’s literacy.

Click here to find out how to participate.

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