Wyoming Reads 2018 – Newsletter #2

I. 2018 Book Selection: We are pleased to announce the book selections for the coming year! We thank all the members of our Selection Committee who participated for their work in choosing a great lineup of books for next year.  Thank you to the Natrona County Library for all their work in confirming the availability of these six titles for 2018.

Penguin Day: A Family Story by Nic Bishop
Max and Bird by Ed Vere
Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door by Adam Rubin
The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson
Little Red Riding Sheep by Linda Ravin
Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins

II. Contacts:   If you have not yet responded to our earlier request regarding serving as our contact for your community please do so as soon as possible.  If you are unable to serve please provide us with information for an alternate contact for your community. Thank you, once again for your help with this.

III. Sample Sets:   We will ask the Wyoming State Library to distribute the sample sets early again this year.  We hope to have them sent out in early December so they are in the schools prior to Christmas break. We have received positive feedback concerning the earlier distribution.  We would like all book orders to be returned to us no later than January 26, 2018.  Thank you for your timely help in meeting this deadline!   Please let us know at once if you anticipate needing a different number of sample sets for next year.

IV. Fundraising: We are once more committing to provide the funding for the books, bookplates, and book bags across the state. This will be the 20th year for the celebration here in Casper and the 13th year this has been a statewide event. We anticipate state-wide enrollments will be down somewhat but, nonetheless, when next year’s event is complete we will have been blessed to provide over 110,000 personalized, hardback books to Wyoming first graders.  Of course, we could never have accomplished that without all your help.  Thank you!

Please identify a location for your celebration, add the special touches that work in your community and then get all your first graders together for your celebration.  Again, the scheduled date for next year’s celebration is May 15th, 2018.  Please get it on your calendars now.

Thanks to those of you who provide us leads for funding sources and who find grants in your community. In the current Wyoming economy several of our funding sources have had to reduce or eliminate their commitments to “Wyoming Reads.”  Our budget for the coming year is $120,000 in cash and in-kind support.

V. Joining Forces: As always, we encourage communities to consider joining forces with neighboring towns. The bigger and more exciting we can make each celebration the more memorable it will be for the children. We loved having the students from Douglas join us here in Casper this year.  We welcome any community to join next year!

VI. Out of State Celebrations: The concept of “Wyoming Reads” continues to spread.  Last year Woodland, California became the first community in that state to host such an event.  We were honored to be invited to join them for their inaugural celebration.  In 2018 Coos Bay, Oregon will become the 9th community in that state to launch the event.  We will join them for their festivities.  Additionally, 2 communities in Minnesota have been hosting similar celebrations.  When we add in the books provided in these communities over the years to the Wyoming total it actually comes to over 180,000 children who have received a personalized, hardback book!

Thank you for your continued support of “Wyoming Reads”!  We welcome any suggestions you might have to improve the experience for the children.

John Jorgensen