A Passion For Reading

By Marc Strauss

January 25, 2012 Updated Jan 25, 2012 at 7:48 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Some local kids are learning to love reading thanks to the generosity a school secretary, her sister and a school nurse.

The three women have a passion for reading and have been spending their own money to fund a book club for kids.

Four years ago Irving Primary School secretary Marsha Roberts, her sister Michelle and District 150 school nurse Kathy Ringenberg created the "Even North Like To Read" book club. The Club is named after Marsha's dog and meets every Saturday.

"It was something we had been wanting to do for a while," said Marsha Roberts. "We got the go ahead and this is our fifth year that we've been doing it now."

Ringenberg says the key is getting the kids interested.

"We try to get the kids to get involved. We try to pick books that we know the kids would be interested in, what's the big, hot book at the time," explained Ringenberg.

"This year we're revisiting Percy Jackson's 'The Lightning Thief," added Kathy.

Irving School pricipal Kevin Curtain says the three women have a talent for getting the kids hooked on reading.

"You can lead the horse to water but getting them to actually drink, getting them to get their noses into the books is really the toughest part of it," said Curtin. "Miss Roberts, her sister Michelle and Kathy have absolutely figured that out."

Since the book club began its grown from about a dozen 3rd and 4th graders to over 60 students. That now includes a second group of 5th through 8th graders.