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Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is encouraging families in Illinois to read together this Thursday, November 19th for the annual Family Reading Night. This year’s theme is “Camp Out with a Good Book!”

“This is a night when parents and children are urged to turn off televisions, computers, phones, video games and other electronic devices to spend time reading together,” White said. “Reading together creates a positive learning environment and helps children develop language skills, reading comprehension and a love for books that can last a lifetime.”

For 24 years, the Secretary of State’s office has sponsored Family Reading Night. White identified several Family Reading Night programs taking place across the state on Thursday. All are free and open to the public.

• Highland Park Public Library
The library will host an event that begins with Police Chief Paul Shafer’s reading of “Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked” by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Families will put on puppet shows based on their favorite books, add to a collaborative story and make a book of their own to take home. Family photos will be taken with one of five famous world library backgrounds. The event will kick off at 5 p.m.
• Litchfield Public Library District
The library is sponsoring an event at Madison Park Elementary School where attendees can make a s’more and read a book with their family under the stars projected on the ceiling of the school gymnasium. Family photos will be taken at a photo booth with a tent, campfire, fishing poles and other camping gear. Each child will be given a free book. The program will take place from 6-8 p.m.
• Mississippi Valley Library District, Collinsville Memorial Library Center
The library will host a community bonfire storytelling event. The festivities, which begin at 6 p.m., will be held behind the historic Blum House. Families will share their favorite stories around the bonfire while enjoying snacks. All ages are welcome.
Sherrard Public Library District
The library will be hosting crafts and games as well as providing campfire snacks. In addition, attendees should bring a clean peanut butter jar to make a lantern. The program will take place from 5-7 p.m.
Streator Public Library
The Library and the Starved Rock Reading Council will sponsor “Sense & Nonsense,” a reader’s theatre performance created by Donna Stone and enacted by the Woodland High School speech students. Attendees will participate in a family craft project. The program will be hosted from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

For more information about Family Reading Night, go to: http://illinoiscenterforthebook.org/frn.html or contact Bonnie Matheis, coordinator of the Illinois Center for the Book, at bmatheis@ilsos.net.

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