Caleb LeBourgeois, 7 going on 8, of Quakertown has won big in the Bucks County Library System’s 2014 Summer Reading Program raffle. At the program’s closing party, his name was drawn from thousands of tickets for the grand prize: an exciting vacation for the whole family at Great Wolf Lodge, a theme park in the Poconos.
The library’s summer reading initiative that keeps kids reading during the school break has been funded for the past three years by an annual $50,000 grant from Doylestown-based Fred Beans Automotive Group through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. Fred Beans has also pledged to fund another year of summer programs in 2015.
Caleb, a student at Neidig Elementary in Quakertown, is the son of Wendi and David LeBourgeois and brother of 7th-grader Heather. Both children have been involved in the library’s summer reading programs since their earliest years. This summer Caleb estimates he accumulated over a thousand minutes of reading time; he’s currently working toward a goal of 650 books for the year.
More than 11,000 children and teens participated in this summer’s program, “Fizz! Boom! Read!” and more than 35,000 kids and adults attended summer-reading-related programming. Presentations and special performances included juggler and magician Al Grout, Rizzo’s Reptile Discovery, The Franklin Institute–How to Build a Storm, Eyes of the Wild traveling zoo, magician Ran’D Shine, ventriloquist Marian Gehman and Illstyle hip-hop dancing.
Each of the seven county branches and 11 township and community libraries also raffled off a Kindle Fire to program participants.
“The library would not be able to move ahead with this key program without the strong support of the Beans organization,” states Martina Kominiarek, executive director. “Research shows that children will lose gains they’ve made in reading during the school year if they don’t read in the summer. And it can take up to four months to return to the same reading level achieved by the end of the previous school year.”