Library to begin winter reading program Jan. 6

DOWAGIAC —The Dowagiac District Library is challenging residents to expand their horizons and explore new books with an upcoming program.   

The Dowagiac District Library will begin its annual winter reading program starting Monday. This year’s program will be themed around reading bingo. The program will run for six weeks, ending on Feb. 16.

For the program, which has categories for children, teens and adults, participants will be given a bingo sheet with a grid of many different reading challenges. For every challenge they complete, participants can mark off a box, and just like with classic bingo, when they get five across, down or diagonal, they get a bingo, which can then be turned into the library. With each bingo, participants will have their names placed in a drawing to win  a prize. Children can earn a reading-related prize, while teens and adults can win gift cards. Participants can complete at least one bingo sheet a week, according to library officials.

“This is a really fun way to get people into a book and thinking about reading,” said youth services coordinator Melissa Phillips. “People like a challenge, and they like that they can earn something by doing something that they love.”

Each year, the library hosts a winter reading program. Phillips said she chose bingo as this year’s theme as it is something that people have enjoyed in the past and is easy for everyone to get involved in. Challenges on the bingo cards are wide and varied, and Phillips said that there would be something on each card for everyone to enjoy. Some challenges include reading a book that has been made into a movie, donating a book to a Little Free Library, baking something from a cookbook and many more.

“There is really something for everyone here,” Phillips said. “It’s a way to get people to try something or read in a way they maybe haven’t before if they want to get a particular bingo. For example, on the adult sheet, there is a space to read a YA [young adult] novel. A lot of adults wouldn’t normally do that, so it can be really fun.”

Phillips said she is hoping for a high level of participation for this year’s program, saying that she believes it is important to promote literacy and reading at every age level in the community.

“Reading is so important, especially when, these days, we spend so much of our time in front of a screen,” she said. “Reading takes people to a different place, and they can forget their troubles for a little while. I would encourage anyone to participate.”

To participate in the program, visit the Dowagiac District Library, 211 Commercial St. Dowagiac, or call (269) 782-3826.

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