The Rapidian

GRPL kicks off Summer Reading Challenge with construction trucks

A brief story about GRPL's summer reading challenge kick off event

More info about the Summer Reading Challenge

http://www.grpl.org/summerreading/

Director of Communications at Grand Rapids Public Libray sets up sign with helper on Library Street.

Director of Communications at Grand Rapids Public Libray sets up sign with helper on Library Street. /Allen Wegener

One of many vendors at the Construction Petting Zoo. Mix 95.7 hands out free prizes at event.

One of many vendors at the Construction Petting Zoo. Mix 95.7 hands out free prizes at event. /Allen Wegener

One of many Construction Trucks drawing children's attention to see what it is.

One of many Construction Trucks drawing children's attention to see what it is.

June 1 was the first day of the Summer Reading Challenge sponsored by Grand Rapids Public Libraries, and GRPL held a construction truck petting zoo event to help kick it off. The Grand Rapids Public Library and the Grand Rapids Children Museum joined together to put the petting zoo event on. The Summer Reading Challenge has been going on for 50 years.

"This is the first year of the construction truck petting zoo idea," Kristen Corrado, Director of Communications for GRPL says. "Children lose about 300 minutes of reading during the summer time, so we try to encourage them to keep up their reading with some thing they can connect to."

There were a total of about 15 construction trucks that particiapted in this year's kick off event. There were big trucks as well as small trucks for children of all ages to see and check out what they were used for.

"We're here today to help promote the construction truck petting zoo reading challenge," Ellen Phillips, a volunteer vendor from loca radio station 95.7 Mix says. "We will be giving away prizes like T-shirts and CD's of all kinds of music."

Several local suburbs participated in the construction truck petting zoo. The Cities of Kentwood, Walker, Wyoming, Grandville and Grand Rapids participated in the event that took place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"We want to help encourage children to help them keep up their reading skills during the summer time so that they will be able to retain this skill when they return to school in the fall," says Carrado.

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