On July 17, 21, and 22, the Williamsburg Regional Library (WRL) sponsored book fairs at the Williamsburg-James City County Public School elementary and middle summer school sites. Four hundred sixty-eight students in Kindergarten through eighth grade visited the book fairs. Each child selected two new, free books to enjoy and keep. In total, WRL distributed over 900 books. Jennifer Diamonti, Youth Services Librarian II and School Liaison, said “The book fairs are a great opportunity for WRL to put books in the hands of children. Studies have shown that reading over the summer helps students retain their literacy skills.” This annual outreach project, part of the library’s 2014 Summer Reading Program, was funded by Friends of Williamsburg Regional Library. One summer school teacher reported that “[the students] begged me for ten minutes to read as soon as we got back in the classroom.” Another said “Some of these students have never had their own book (one to keep) before. It makes them feel like they are important and doing something worthwhile.” This is the fourth year that WRL has sponsored the Summer School Book Fair as part of its summer reading outreach.
Pictured left to right are Dominique, Summer School Principal Angel Washington, Tanner, WRL Director Genevieve S. Owens, and Damien.