Reading Rocks in Rockford

Reading Rocks ready to promote value of reading

August 9, 2012 // 0 Comments

This year’s Reading Rocks in Rockford is sure to be a hit for everyone in the family. The literacy festival enters its fourth year and has matured into a blockbuster event that highlights what building blocks reading provides toward every child’s future. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 11, is sponsored by the Rockford Rotary Club and Rockford Public Schools, and takes place at a variety of venues throughout downtown Rockford. It includes an author’s showcase, Rockin’ Reader Awards, book publishing, a parade, children’s activities, Paws with a Cause, and even a digital petting zoo. Reading Rocks has even garnered national recognition in 2012, earning a $2,500 award from the Pearson Foundation and 1,000 books from We Give Books for this wonderful event that promotes literacy. Representatives of Reading Rocks in Rockford and the Rockford Rotary Club will be receiving the award September 7 in Washington, D.C. at the Library of Congress for National Literacy Day. The award-winning festival starts on August 11 with a crowd favorite, the Storybook Parade, at 10 a.m. in front of Krause Memorial Library. Parents and children are invited to don a costume of their favorite storybook character, or carry their favorite book and join in the fun. The parade will wind down East Bridge Street to Garden Club Park, where Author’s Row features more than 20 published authors autographing their books and answering questions. There are also plenty of activities for children in the Rotary Pavilion to help them discover the magic of reading and writing. The “Story Within You” Publishing Center will be housed at the pavilion so future writers can hone their skills. An Out of the World Party is planned from 10 a.m. until noon and features Galactic Games and invites kids to “Imagine! Explore! and Dream Big!” From noon until 2 p.m. the pavilion will feature a Birthday Bash where Mad Libs, Book Bingo, Family Scrabble and face painting add to the fun. Are you looking for entertainment? The Garden Park Stage is lined up with music and entertainment from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Enjoy the Rockford High School Drumline at 10 a.m. and the Rockford Community Children’s Choir at 11 a.m. A sneak peak at “Into the Woods” Fairy Tale Musical is […]

Author to share insight during Reading Rocks festival

August 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

by JEANNIE GREGORY Lisa Orchard, a Rockford author, is ready to share her love of writing—and some important information for those who are interested in e-publishing. Orchard was able to accomplish her dream of publishing a book, and is working on her second book. She will be sharing her insight during Reading Rocks in Rockford August 11 at Arnie’s Bakery in downtown Rockford. The author has always loved intrigue, cutting her teeth on the Nancy Drew and Bobbsey Twins mysteries. She began her fledgling career when she was in fifth grade, writing her own stories and dreaming of someday becoming a published author. The Central Michigan University graduate, wife and mother of two sons, finally realized her dream in March. Orchard’s book, “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer,” was published. It is going to be part of a mystery series and Orchard is already working on the second book, “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber.” The series is written for the 10-18 age group and is action-packed enough to appeal to both boys and girls. According to Orchard, becoming a published author is a process that starts prior to even completing a manuscript. In today’s age of the computer, it is important to establish a presence in the literary world. “You need to learn the market before publishing,” Orchard said. “You have to establish an online presence and have a website, blog and interact in social media. You need to build a fan base; publishers are looking for that. Internet publishing is in its infancy, but it is going to explode.” Orchard is excited to share her knowledge with the community during Reading Rocks. She will be hosting a special informative lunch upstairs at Arnie’s at noon. For only $10, participants can enjoy a lunch and a personal narrative from Orchard on the steps to take to become a published author. To sign up for the informative luncheon, contact For more information about Orchard and her books, visit her website at

Reading Rocks receives national recognition at Library of Congress

July 26, 2012 // 0 Comments

The Reading Rocks in Rockford reading festival is just entering its fourth year, but this toddler has already gained many accolades for helping spread the message of how important reading is. The Rockford Rotary Club, Rockford Public Schools and the Kent District Library (KDL) have joined impressive forces to promote the joy of reading for all ages during this annual event. Sue Bodenner, along with Ryan Kelley, fellow Rotarians, co-organize the event. The one-day annual literacy event is a wonderful way for families to share the joy of reading with fun activities, published authors, a parade, entertainment and writing workshops. But the event also carries a deeper goal: to enable those less fortunate to receive the building blocks to a better education through reading. Reading Rocks has accomplished that goal in a big way. It has been designated as one of two recipients of a $2,500 award from the Pearson Foundation for the wonderful project. Reading Rocks competed against hundreds of programs for this prestigious recognition. They will also receive 1,000 books from We Give Books to a nonprofit organization of Reading Rocks’ choosing. “The Pearson Foundation award is an unexpected blessing that comes from one good thing after another happening between the Rockford Rotary and members of the Rockford Public Schools who are also connected to the Kent Reading Council, a local chapter of the International Reading Association,” said Kathy Munger, member of the Reading Rocks steering committee. “The application focused on the description of the Reading Rocks in Rockford reading festival and included a literacy vision for the future,” said Kelley. “Promoting the joy of reading is the mission statement of the festival, and we’re grateful to the Foundation for realizing the benefits in motivating children and adults to read for enjoyment.” Bodenner and Munger, received a congratulatory letter in July. Representatives of the Pearson Foundation congratulated them and stated, “Literacy transforms the lives of individuals and strengthens the health of a community. Your work to promote literacy is invaluable, and Rotary International and IRA are honored that you have shared your hard work and dedication.” The award will be presented September 7 in Washington, D.C. at the Library of Congress by Pearson Foundation for National Literacy Day. Please watch for next week’s […]

Casting call for young actors for Reading Rocks festival

August 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

Children who can read and are in eighth grade or lower are invited to help with a new exciting event as part of the Reading Rocks in Rockford festival August 13. The festival is in its second year and offers many hands-on opportunities to appreciate reading. This year Dr. Regina Rees and a group of Rockford High School students will coordinate Readers Theater with the younger students, a group storytelling event, at the pavilion located on the west side of the Rogue River dam. Rees has been a teacher for over 25 years. She has taught grades 4-12. She completed her Ph.D. in 2004 and is currently an associate professor in education at Youngstown State University. She has been a storyteller for 15 years and has presented programs and workshops throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana. In addition to storytelling, Rees loves Readers Theater. This form of group storytelling combines reading, interpreting and listening, with imagination. Readers Theater is truly “theater of the imagination” because there are no costumes, sets or special effects—just the readers interpreting the story for the audience to picture in their imaginations. The stories presented at the Reading Rocks in Rockford festival are adapted from folktales from around the world. Students interested in participating should have their parents call Susan at Bishop Hills Elder Care Community at (616) 866-2002. A practice script reading will take place Friday, August 12 with the Readers Theater taking place in one morning and one afternoon session on Saturday. For more information about this year’s Reading Rocks in Rockford, brought to you by Rockford Rotary Club and Rockford Public Schools, see the circular inside this issue of The Rockford Squire.

Lucky reader wins Kindle at Reading Rocks festival

September 9, 2010 // 0 Comments

When the Rockford Rotary Club called Char Bouwkamp at D&W Fresh Market to ask if D&W would be involved in the annual reading festival, Reading Rocks in Rockford, Char responded, “Absolutely!” D&W Foods provided a Kindle Electronic Reader to be used for a drawing at Krause Memorial Library on the day of the festival. “The Kindle drawing raised a lot of awareness and excitement about the reading festival and the programs we offered during the festival,” said Jennifer German, executive director of the library. Everyone using the library’s services that day had a chance to win the Kindle, and Betsey Bolek’s name was drawn by Char. Congratulations, Betsey.

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