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MERRILLVILLE | From closets to swimming pools, Northwest Indiana students, administrators and teachers, library staffers and others proved last month that you can take Time Out For Reading just about anywhere.

The Northwest Indiana Literacy Coalition presented its annual Time Out For Reading Photo/Video Contest awards to 15 winners Nov. 19 during a reception at the Lake County Public Library.

"We had a great response, as we do every year," said NWILC President Dian Reyome at the awards reception. "The entries are so creative, and it's difficult to pick the winners."

"Thank you so much, my kids look forward to it (TOFR) every year," said Media Specialist Judy Einikis as she accepted an Open Category award plaque for Eisenhower Elementary School in Crown Point. Einikis hosts themed reading events each year, this year picking a Hawaiian theme that students and staff wearing Hawaiian shirts and hula skirts as they gathered in the gym to read and learn a special hula dance.

"The kids were so excited to see Santa at school in October," said teacher Debbye Jackman of Our Lady of Grace Preschool in Highland, who arranged an early visit from the North Pole so Santa could read to the children on TOFR day - and win the Reading Celebrity award.

The award winners are:

  • Reading Anywhere - West Central High School, Francesville
  • Most Unusual Book - Liberty Elementary, Chesterton
  • Largest Number of Readers - Timothy Ball Elementary, Crown Point
  • Adult Readers - Kouts Public Library
  • Most Creative Reading Attire - Frankie Woods McCullough Academy for Girls, Gary
  • Creative Video - Joan Martin Elementary, Hobart; Honorable Mention - Fieler Elementary, Merrillville
  • Reading with Friends - Central Elementary, Portage
  • Reading Celebrity - Our Lady of Grace Preschool, Highland
  • Bookmark Fun - Carrie Cate-Clements takes Time Out for Reading to Hollywood, Calif.
  • Open Category - Eisenhower Elementary, Crown Point; Lake Ridge New Tech Middle School, Gary; Kankakee Valley Middle School, Wheatfield; and School Town of Munster
  • To Be Watched for Future Entries - the first infant entry, Southridge Elementary, Highland

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