EDEN, NY- Every week Daybreak highlights “WNY’s Great Kids” and this week features five little bookworms who have used their summer break to complete an adventurous literary challenge!
8-year-old Jonah, 7-year-old Betsy, 6-year-old Tim, 4-year-old Karoline, and 3-year-old Greta Marks love to read, learn and explore. Their mom, Naomi Marks, says they beg her to take them to the Eden library every day.
So when the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library started a program this summer called Passport to Reading, offering prizes for kids who visited different branches, they said they’d give it a try.
"We thought that'd be good use of the summer. We don't have air conditioning. It's hot. I'm pregnant. Let's drive around and see the libraries," said Naomi.
In just a matter of weeks, they visited all 37 branches in Erie County plus the Bookmobile. From their home library in Eden, their journey took them to Grand Island, Newstead, Collins and everywhere in between.
Every place they went their eyes were opened to something new. Betsy liked the computers and technology. Tim learned he's a fan of non-fiction. Jonah and the others read so much they maxed out their library cards.
"We would come home at night and read whatever they checked out that day to return them so they could check out more the next day," said Naomi.
"We love to see avid readers come through and check out lots of books and help us keep our doors open," said Eden library director Donna-Jo Webster.
The Marks kids went on a literary journey, and the destination was the discovery of their community and their passion for books.
"I hope it continues to inspire their love of learning and reading and exploring," said Naomi, who homeschools her children and admits she reads 10 books at a time.
So how did it feel when they got the 38th and final stamp in their library passports?
"It was pretty cool because we didn't have to ride in the car anymore," said Betsy.
Behind these five “Great Kids” is a really great mom. Kudos to Naomi for chauffeuring them all in and out of their car seats and boosters 38 times while she was eight months pregnant!
If you know of a “Great Kid” who should be featured on Channel 2 News, call 716-849-2216 or email Melissa.Holmes@wgrz.com .