Wyoming Reads Returns for 13th Year

First graders across Wyoming now have books to call their own.

News 13's Connor Comeau showed us what makes an inspiring program possible.

Thanks to the Wyoming Reads Program, 1,200 first graders packed the Natrona County Library, ready to read and learn.

Librarians were amazed to see the turnout.

Natorna County Library Director Lisa Scroggins told News 13, "To just look out in the parking lot and see all the buses and know that all these kids in Natrona County and actually some from our neighboring county brought their first graders over as well, it is super exciting and it's a lot of fun.”

The program began in 1998 by John Jorgensen in honor of his late wife Sue who was dedicated to children's literacy.

Jorgensen says the growth of the event has been remarkable.

Jorgensen, the Wyoming Reads Founder shared, “This is our thirteenth year as a statewide celebration and it’s gone from a first distribution of 150 books to a total of over 180,000 hardback books that have gotten distributed now!"

The library has hosted the program since its beginning days, but that doesn't stop librarians from enjoying the smile on children's faces each time they visit.

"As a librarian, the exciting part is for some of these kids it's their first time coming to the library and they fall in love with it, on this day. So our hope is they'll keep coming back and become better and better readers and knowing all the different things we have here at the library.”

With the program getting bigger each year, Jorgensen says it's enough for him to keep the program going.

"You see all those six and seven year olds taking their new books out of their book bags and it's got their names inside the cover and many of them are getting their first library card and it gives you the energy to go forward and do it another year I’m sure."

It was created, all to honor his wife's vision.

Governor Mead signed a proclamation naming May 15th as "Wyoming Literacy Day," and First Lady Carol Mead again attended to read to students.