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Press Release

BISMARCK, N.D., June 14, 2023 – State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler says a new Summer Reading Initiative offers students and their families an opportunity to meet North Dakota children’s authors, get a free book, listen to music, and take part in interactive art projects.

The kickoff event is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 21, on the state Capitol mall (the lawn on the south side of the building).

Eight North Dakota children’s authors will be present with copies of their books, and student Summer Reading Initiative participants will get tickets that may be redeemed for a free, signed book from an author of their choosing, while book supplies last.

“This event provides families with an opportunity to encourage their children to read during the summer, and to get into the habit of regular reading year round,” Baesler said. “Great authors tell us that reading gives meaning to life. It helps us to understand the meaning of community and friendship. Learning to read makes us free forever.”

The authors who are scheduled to attend are Melissa Ahonen, author of "It's Great to Be Me: Daily Affirmations for Children" and "Aspen's Magical Mermaid Necklace;" Amy Baker, "Hansel Gets Rescued;” Joelle Bearstail, "Bear's Braid;" Brenda Ehrmantraut, "Night Catch;" Chloe Naslund, "Adoptive Love;" Sandy Rieker, "The Most Unlikely Pair;" Lindsey Undlin, "Stolen;" and Jessie Veeder, "Prairie Princess." Veeder, who is a folk musician and podcaster, will also provide music and interactive art sessions.

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction is the Summer Reading Initiative’s lead organizer. Other partners, which will provide activities for the event, include the Bismarck Public Schools; The Bank of North Dakota’s College SAVE program; Latidot Scoop & Gift Shop; Miss Sparkles, Bismarck Veterans Memorial Library; North Dakota Department of Water Resources; North Dakota National Guard Child & Youth Program; North Dakota State Library; North Dakota's Gateway to Science; Shade Tree Players; State Historical Society of North Dakota; Theo Art School; and Waterford.org.

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