The Sylvan Lake Municipal Library is continuing to celebrate the value of reading with this year’s Read for 15 Community Challenge on January 27.
The event, which is in its second year, sees communities from all over Canada facing off against one another in a challenge to have the highest percentage of their population read for 15 minutes and then report back to their local library.
“It doesn’t matter what they are reading,” Library Executive Director Caroline Vandreil said. “It could be magazines, it could be Facebook, the newspaper – any sort of reading whatsoever.”
Last year, Red Deer had the highest number of participants however the smaller community of Donalda won because it had the highest percentage of its population participate. Vandreil hopes that Sylvan Lake can improve on last year’s showing.
“We did okay – not as much as I had hoped,” she said. “The community of Donalda kicked everyone’s butt last year so I would like to see Sylvan Lake kick it up a notch and report their reading to the library.”
Vandreil is hoping that this event, coinciding with Family Literacy Day, will grow into an international sensation.
“I tried to contact someone in New York City because they are doing a Readers Unite project there,” she said. “I was hoping we could combine to try to get this across the border and with any luck around the world.”
The event this year also coincides with Canada’s 150th birthday, which ties into the library’s overall theme of #Readfor15OhCanada. Vandreil encourages readers to use this hashtag when they report their reading to the library.
This campaign also ties into the library’s goal of having 150 maple leaves hanging from the library ceiling, with each one signifying a book read by a Sylvan Laker.
“We are hoping to have 150 maple leaves filled out by July 1 and our overall goal is 2017 Maple Leaves filled out by the end of the year,” she said. “People can see that we have a lot of reading going on.”
Vandreil is hoping Sylvan can improve on last year’s outcome and has already amped up the library’s advertising campaign as well as contacted several schools to get involved with the project.
“Last year the schools were very keen on contributing,” she said. “We want to get the word out more as the day approaches.”
She added this event is an important one as it stresses the importance of literacy. She added, “People need to read and people need to talk about what they have read. They can talk about this project.”
She hopes Sylvan Lakers will get behind this project and that “Sylvan can kick butt and beat Red Deer to win the competition this year.”
Readers can only report once for the competition, however if you read to others – each one of the listeners counts for one submission. To log your reading on the day of the event use the hashtag #ReadFor15Sylvan on social media or by calling the library. If you would like more information you may log onto the library’s Facebook page or you can contact the library at 403 887 2130.