Weather Forecast


‘Paws to Read’ program celebrates last week in Blackduck

A library volunteer read a story to children on the last day of the “Paws to Read” program on Wednesday at the Blackduck Community Library. Photo by Jillian Gandsey.

The summer reading program at the Blackduck Community Library came to an end on Wednesday.

This summer’s theme was “Paws to Read” and taught participants about animals through programs held every Wednesday at the library. The Headwaters Science Center kicked off the summer with their visit, bringing more than 80 children to the library.

The Blackduck Fire Department donated two Kindle Fire HDs as prizes for the young adult and children’s program. Courtney Matheny took home the grand prize in the young adult section for a story she wrote that included original artwork. Olivia Nord was the winner out of the children’s program.

Another participant who wrote a story is Angelina Frenzel, 14, who wrote her story titled “Art and I” in two days. Her story tells the tale of REL, whose town, Caper, is blown up by a nuclear bomb and 1 percent of the population survives. Ten years later, REL is hurt after she fell out of a tree and discovered by Art, who was also a survivor and they live happily ever after.

Angelina also read several books over the summer and her favorite was “Project Mulberry.”

“I like reading because it gives me something to do in my free time and it’s so interesting to find out what other people think of life,” Angelina said.

Others who wrote stories in the young adult program are Spring McGriff, Heather Rose McGriff and Annemarie Frenzel.

Nance Kunkel, Branch Manager for the Kitchigami Regional Library System in Blackduck, said that most Wednesdays saw between 40 and 50 participants of the 110 registered.

“We actually had less kids register this year than we have in the past but we had more kids finish,” Kunkel said of the program. “I’m good with that.”

Blackduck’s program had a completion rate of 65 percent for the summer and according to Kunkel, many libraries are happy with 40 percent.

“I love the children’s program,” Kunkel said. “I think it’s the most fun things I do all year because, you know, every librarian wants kids to come to the library and it gets them to come in.”

Kunkel has been with the library for 20 years and this summer was the 17th that there was a summer reading program.

“I’m glad for all the donations we got,” Kunkel said. “I’m glad for all the volunteer help. That’s what makes it possible and it’s so much fun it really is.”

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

(218) 333-9786