Putnam County 6th graders participate in Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Award program

93 books have been read so far by students

Putnam County Junior High School students pictured are Anahi Avila, Jaylynn Dickey, Elimae Glynn, MaKenna Goulding, Savannah Grasser, Murphy Hopkins, Anni Judd, Nathaniel Lenczewski, Brendan Linton, Kohlton Mateika, Brooklyn McCart, Brennan McDonald, Luis Ramirez, Jayden Serna and Kynzie Thomas. Staff in the picture are Debbie Thompson, Annette Davis and Amy Carboni. Missing from the picture was Avery Lenkaitis.

The Putnam County Junior High School sixth grade students participated in the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Award program.

This Illinois award is determined by student votes. This award encourages students to read for personal satisfaction and develops a statewide awareness of outstanding children’s literature. The book “Alone” was chosen, as being the favorite among the sixth grade participants from 20 nominated books.

This program was introduced to the students through a cooperative effort among Amy Carboni’s sixth grade classes and Debbie Thompson, PCJH media paraprofessional. The Putnam County Educational Foundation approved the grant that helped pay for copies of the books and the treats for the party. Putnam County Junior High also was selected to receive a 2023-24 Readers’ Choice Grant for a set of the Rebecca Caudill books from the AISLE/LBSS Endowment Fund.

Annette Davis, district librarian, not only helped set up the program, but gave input on the grants, she also took the time to pick up some of the treat items and helped with the party. This is the last year Davis will help with the Rebecca Caudill program, as she is retiring.

Also supporting the program are Mike Olson, PCJH principal, and Clayton Theisinger, superintendent, along with Peg Myers, who made the cookies for the party. After each student reads one of the books, they must pass a test, then fill out a story balloon. A balloon report helps the student understand the parts of the novel.

After reading and reporting on three Rebecca Caudill books, the student receives a certificate saying they are eligible to attend the party and to vote for the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award.

Fifteen students were given invitations to come to the party Feb. 23. Sixteen students voted and a total of 93 books have been read so far by sixth graders. Students were treated to cookies, soda, ice cream and toppings in celebration of Rebecca Caudill’s February birthday. Any sixth grader who reads all 20 of the Rebecca Caudill books will have their name engraved on a plaque to be displayed at the school in honor of this accomplishment. Students have until May 10 to meet the requirements to have their name on the plaque.