1,000+ Attend 4th Annual Garland County Reads

1,000+ Attend 4th Annual Garland County Reads
Posted on 10/09/2019
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The 4th annual Garland County Reads event was another hugely successful literacy celebration hosted by Garland County school districts in downtown Hot Springs at the Hot Springs Farmers Market. This event is a kick-off to elementary families from participating public schools across Garland County reading the same children’s book at the same time, making reading a hot topic of discussion throughout the community. The collaboration is unique from any other literacy celebration across Arkansas, and is well loved and generously supported by the Hot Springs community and area schools. A community that reads together, grows together!

The #GarlandCountyReads event has always been and will always be FREE to attendees of all ages. Each year students and families enjoy visiting booths and playing games sponsored by various community and literacy organizations, as well as one from each participating school district. During the event, the entire crowd also comes together to hear the first chapter of each year’s chosen book read aloud by community and state leaders. The book selected this year was Because of Winn Dixie, a story by Kate DiCamillo that tells the tale of an inseparable bond between a girl and her beloved dog; the pair and their friendship unites the townspeople and helps her own troubled relationship with her father.


Following the kickoff event students will now read chapters with their parents, caregivers and/or siblings at home.  During school, children will be involved in activities ranging from discussions to project-based lessons about the book. Book reading calendars, trivia questions, and even a personalized message from book author Kate DiCamillo have been shared by the Garland County Reads committee with all participating school district teams, to be shared with students and families.


Thank you to our participating Garland County School Districts for being part of such a meaningful collaboration around literacy: Cutter Morning Star; Fountain Lake; Hot Springs; Jessieville; Lakeside; and Mountain Pine.

Thank you to the following wonderful sponsors, supporters, and partners in education and literacy who either donated funds, food items, or hosted an interactive game or booth for attendees of the 4th annual #GarlandCountyReads event: First Security Bank - who generously grilled hot dogs and fed the entire crowd;  Hot Springs Women’s Chamber of Commerce; Hot Springs National Park Rotary Club; City of Hot Springs; Oaklawn Baptist Church; Hog Wild Events; Fastenal; Frito-Lay; US Bank; Henderson State University; National Park College; Spa City Dyslexia Support Group; United Way of the Ouachitas ; Cutter Morning Star School Board Members; Magic Springs Theme and Water Park; Garland County Imagination Library; Garland County Library; Literacy Council of Garland County; Junior Auxiliary of Hot Springs; Hot Springs National Park/National Park Service; Mid America Science Museum; DJ Corey Baldwin; and Hot Springs School District 5th-6th grade Cheerleaders, EAST, and Jr./Sr. High Beta Club members.

Thank you to the following outstanding local and state leaders for reading the first chapter of the book “Because of Winn Dixie” by Kate DiCamillo to student attendees: Congressman Bruce Westerman; Representative Bruce Cozart; Representative Les Warren; Judge Wade Naramore; Stacy Braziel with Spa City Dyslexia Support Group; Police Chief Miguel Hernandez of Mountain Pine Police Department; Corporal Joey Williams of Hot Springs Police Department; Assistant Superintendent Becky Rosburg with Hot Springs School District; District Curriculum Supervisor Kendal Glomski at Jessieville School District; Vice President for External Affairs Darla Thurber at National Park College ; and Kathy Sellman with Hot Springs National Park Rotary Club.

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