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The 13th Annual Books By The Banks Cincinnati USA Book Festival will be held Saturday, October 26 the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati. Along with more than 100 authors who will talk with patrons and sign copies of their books, there will be author panels and discussions; a kids zone and teen scene with a variety of activities and entertainment; sponsor tables; and an onsite bookstore from Joseph Beth Booksellers.Cincinnati Public Radio will have a table - stop by and say hi to the hosts and staff, sign-up to win a CD or other prize, and let us know what you think about our stations! This event is free to attend, and runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.More information can be found at booksbythebanks.org.91.7 WVXU is a proud media partner.We've had the opportunity to interview, or review, many of the authors you'll meet at this year's Books by the Banks . Here's a list if you'd like to hear from one of your favorites! BBTB 2019 AUTHORS WHO HAVE BEEN ON WVXU THIS YEARConnie Dow: From A to Z with Energy! 26 Ways to Move and PlayTerry Gamble: The EulogistJessica Strawser: Forget You Know MeAlexander Watson: Saucy Boat, Stout Mates, Spotted Dog, AmericaMargaret McMullan: Where The Angels LivedCandace Ganger: Six Goodbyes We Never SaidBook Review: Dan and Judy Dourson: Wildflowers and Ferns of Red River Gorge and the Greater Red River BasinJohn Kachuba: Shapeshifters: A HistoryDan Woellert: Cincinnati Goetta: A Delectable HistoryKaren Abbott: The Ghosts Of Eden ParkBook Review: Constance J. Moore and Nancy M. Broermann: Maria Longworth Storer: From Music and Art to Popes and PresidentsPauletta Hansel:When She Was Done (a Mother's Day poem)Coal Town Photograph (Father's Day poems)Sherry Stanforth and Richard Hague: Riparian: Poetry, Short Prose, and Photographs Inspired by the Ohio River (airing on November 24)Rick Kennedy: 100 Years of Reimagining Flight (Cincinnati Edition)Jack Heffron: Classic Reds: The 50 Greatest Games in Cincinnati Reds History (Cincinnati Edition)Michael Morgan: Cincinnati Beer (Cincinnati Edition)Greg Rhodes and John Erardi: Baseball Revolutionaries: How the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Rocked the Country and Made Baseball Famous (Cincinnati Edition)David Bell: LayoverWilliam Plunkett: The G-Men and the Nurse: A 1929 Washington Cold CaseJillian Scudder: Astroquizzical: A Curious Journey Through Our Cosmic Family Tree (Looking Up podcast)

Richmond Summer Reading Program Reaches Children Despite The Pandemic

Courtesy of Every Child Can Read

A summer reading program in Richmond, Indiana, says it was able to reach nearly 80 children this summer despite limitations created by the coronavirus pandemic. Every Child Can Read's Third Grade Academy helps rising fourth graders improve their reading skills.

Teachers in the Richmond school district recommend students who are at-risk or need additional help with reading for the community-based non-profit's program. Normally it would reach around 100 students, so organizers were pleased 78 students signed on for this summer's modified virtual program.

Ashley Garard, director of the Third Grade Academy, was adamant the program not be canceled this summer. She says she felt someone had to check in with local students.

"I know they're at-risk and one of the huge factors in having a successful society is getting students to read," she says. "If we just forget about these kids for a summer then we basically have an entire group of kids that just kind of are forgotten, and I just wasn't OK with that. Our community needs these kids to be well-educated and be a part of our community in a few years."

Along with virtual lessons, children were given 20 books over four weeks and instructors visited each student at their home once a week. Garard says books were selected with a goal of giving each student a love of reading. The "Third Grade Academy To Go" program also aimed to help with some of the social/emotional skills kids have been missing out on with the school year cut short and summer programs canceled or limited.

Credit Courtesy of Every Child Can Read, Inc.

The response from families was fantastic, Garard says. Some families bought extra outdoor furniture so the visits could be conducted safely, and oftentimes other children in a family would be just as excited as the student to see the reading counselors.

Typically, Indiana students take the IREAD-3 exam - a standardized reading exam - in March to assess reading competency. The test was canceled this year because of the pandemic. Garard says that makes it a little harder to judge a student's improvement before and after the summer program. However, anecdotally, she says parents say they've seen a difference.

"Reading just seemed like a chore for him," says parent Lori Shelley of her son, Logan, who participated in the Third Grade Academy. "It was just something that he just was not interested in at all."

She describes the change she saw in her son this summer as "amazing."

"There was a point where he came to me and said, 'Mom, I really like this book. No, I love this book,' and that is not something that my son would ever say and it made me cry a little bit because it was such a relief to me that he actually enjoyed it."

Shelley says Logan does well at school but when it comes to homework after school, he wouldn't really absorb anything he read. She says he now understands how to take in the words and understand what the material is really saying. She thinks that will make homework, tests and more easier moving forward.

She thinks part of the success was about simply finding the right book to interest her son.

"Now that he has found something that he likes, any kind of reading doesn't seem like such a chore anymore because he knows now that he can get through it."

When asked if he was excited about the program before it started, Logan answers "not really," but now "I like it." He's partial to The Bad Guys and Flat Stanley, he says.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.