Wyoming Reads program celebration slated for next Monday at the Hyart

The 26th annual Wyoming Reads celebration for first graders will take place on Tuesday, May 21, at the historic Hyart Theatre in Lovell.

Nearly 7,000 books will be distributed to first graders at Wyoming Reads literacy celebrations held in each of the state’s 23 counties next week. Each community’s celebration is organized locally by a combination of civic leaders, public libraries and school districts.

The 2024 event marks the 19th anniversary of the program on a statewide basis and the 26th year of the program in Casper.

The local celebration in Lovell will feature story times with “celebrity” readers from the Lovell Middle School, a movie and the presentation of a fairytale about “The Good Queen Sue,” a tribute to Sue Jorgensen, in whose memory the event was established. A number of first-grade students will also receive their first library cards.

Students will arrive at the Hyart around 12:15 p.m., and after they are presented with popcorn, water and a fruit snack, students will enjoy the movie “Curious George.” After the Good Queen Sue tribute, books will be presented just before 2 p.m.

Each student will receive a hardback book of their very own, donated by the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation. Earlier this year, children had the opportunity to choose one of these 10 books:

• “A is for Axolotl” by Catherine Macorol

Chester Van Chime Who Forgot How to Rhyme” by Avery Monsen

• “Fluffy McWhiskers Cuteness Explosion” by Stephen W. Martin

• “Love Rules: A Family’s True Story of Adoption & Unconditional Love” by Andrea Melvin, Dave Eaton and Michael Clark Jr.

• “Pizza: A Slice of History” by Greg Pizzoli

• “Rick the Rock of Room 214” by Julie Falatko

• “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” by Mac Barnett

• “Viking Strong” by Doug Cenko

• “We Are Going to Be Pals!” by Mark Teague

• “We Don’t Lose Our Class Goldfish” by Ryan T. Higgins

Celebrity readers from LMS will read to each class, and students will be given a necklace bottle of bubbles as they leave the theater around 2:25 p.m.

Partners in this year’s Wyoming Reads celebration include the Wyoming Community Foundation, Tom and Helen Tonkin Foundation, McMurry Foundation, Casper Rotary Club, the Natrona County Library and a number of generous individuals.

For more information on Wyoming Reads, visit wyomingreads.org.