Young readers honored at Phoenicia Elementary School

Phoenicia — Local students who participated in the New York State Assembly Summer Reading and Exercise Challenge, sponsored in the 101st District by Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess), were honored last week in an awards ceremony that was held at Phoenicia Elementary School.

The gymnasium was the scene for the celebration. More than 25 young readers participated in the event that culminated with each student accepting personal kudos and an official award certificate from Assemblymember Cahill, complete with individual photographs and gift bags filled with prizes for the successful readers. The rewards were donated by generous local merchants including: Anaconda Sports; Bop to Tottom; Hudson River Maritime Museum; MAC Fitness; Target; Modell’s; Ulster Savings Bank; and Woodstock Chimes. Demonstrating the kind community commitment they are becoming known for, Mama’s Boy Café of Phoenicia, once again awarded each reader with a gift certificate for an ice cream cone.

“The enthusiastic and robust participation in the annual program throughout the expansive Assembly District has called for a separate celebration at Phoenicia Elementary, who, for six straight years has held the record for the most participants,” said Assemblymember Cahill. “My thanks go out to Principal Sella, Mrs. Cahill, and all the dedicated teachers and parents who worked to ensure and inspire our youth to read throughout the year.”

The Phoenicia Library has long played a vital role in the success of the Summer Reading Program. In March of this year the community suffered a great loss when a fire destroyed the building and much of its collection.

With the help of the town, the library was offered space to relocate from Main Street to Ave Maria Drive in Phoenicia. An overwhelming response from town residents, local organizations, and the Mid-Hudson Library System has helped the rebuild process move forward as smoothly as possible. The board of the Phoenicia Library is hopeful that they will open up their Main Street location as early as 2012.