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'Claire's Day' inspires local kids to read books

Festival to encourage kids to read gathers authors and illustrators at the Maumee Public Library.

MAUMEE, Ohio — It was a celebration Saturday of books, authors and illustrators. "Claire's Day" at the Maumee Public Library was a festival to inspire children to be lifelong readers.

The highlight of the day was the handing out of Claire's Awards for Reading Excellence--CARE.

Students across the region were honored not for good grades but for working hard to improve their reading skills and show a love of reading.

"Because I like reading about dinosaurs and animals," Cameron Mitchell said.

"It's like you get to turn a page and every page is a new word," Anabell Boggs said.

The day was all about Claire Rubini's parents keeping her legacy alive.She was an avid reader who died unexpectedly in 2000 of a misdiagnosed heart condition.

Claire was 10 years old.

"Claire's birthday is next week. And all these children's smiling faces is a birthday present to us in her memory. We remember her through these children," Brad Rubini, Claire's dad, said. 

Literacy experts at the event said it's important to engage your children in reading; encourage them to read about topics that interest them.

"I like learning about the journeys of other people and things they do as characters and the struggles they go through," Random Davis said. 

Some of the hottest children's authors around came to sign and sell their books.The longest line was for Lisa Wheeler, writer of nearly fifty books.

Wheeler said parents should do what she did for her children every night: read a bedtime story to your kids.

"And today I have one who's a writer and another who's a librarian," she said. 

This is the 18th year for "Claire's Day" and the hope is that the impact of this day will last every day for the kids in Northwest Ohio. 

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