BLACKFOOT — Distinguished Young Women (DYW) candidates from Blackfoot read to students Thursday afternoon at Stoddard Elementary.
DYW asks candidates to do community service, said Blackfoot's DYW Hannah Miller.
"This reading roundup provides a habit of service," Miller said.
The library at Stoddard was filled with enthusiastic readers.
Annie Tanner, the VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) representative, said she organized the roundup reading challenge last September.
"This is to promote family literacy," Tanner said. "There is nothing better than to see a kid read and to see parents and kids reading together."
Students can come into the library during each lunch recess. On the first Thursday of each month, parents can come into the library to read to their students for one hour after school.
"The titles [of the books] came from the Stoddard teachers," she said.
Tanner had asked each teacher for his/her three favorite books and then compiled the list of 40 books.
Some of the books on the list include "The Umbrella" by Jan Brett, "There's a Wocket in my Pocket" by Dr. Seuss, "Ira Sleeps Over" by Bernard Waber and "The Relatives Came" by Cynthia Rylant.
Each student was challenged to read all 40 books. Students have until March 22 to complete this challenge. So far, nearly 100 students have done so.
A reward party is scheduled for April 15 during school for each student who accomplished this reading goal.
Blackfoot Public Library personnel partnered with Stoddard to supply the same books to the students and their families there, Tanner said. The library has set up a special section just for this project.
This is the first year VISTA has been at Stoddard. VISTA volunteers are normally at schools for three years.
"After two more years, I'm hoping volunteers continue this program," Tanner said.