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BOOKS Party Encourages Kids To Read

By Faith Jessie.
A program encouraging children to pick up a book and read held a party to reward those readers on Saturday.

"BOOKS" which stands for Books Open Opportunities for Kids to Succeed, hosted their "Halfway There" party at the Arena Club in the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

In order to attend the party, preschool and school-aged children had to read for more than 108 hours between June and December.

Participants and their families enjoyed dinner along with fun activities like dancing and a photo booth. They even got tickets to the B-Sens game after the party.

The BOOKS program is funded by a state grant from Senator Fred Akshar. He says the program has been successful.

"You know what, it's a life reward. There's more than twenty thousand kids that have been through this books program. It's a remarkable program and we're giving them great life lessons," says Senator Fred Akshar.

"Reading is the most basic life skill there is. Kids who are good readers do well and school, and kids who do well in school do well in life," says BOOKS Program Director, Tia Zink.

The party marks the halfway point in the 2015-2016 program and encourages children to complete the reading program by the May 31st deadline.