READ Jackson County plans fundraisers


A small nonprofit organization in Jackson County has some big plans over the next few months.

READ Jackson County is a literacy-focused group affiliated with United Way and located in Jackson County with the mission of focusing on increasing the literacy of adults and children in the community.

Jenna Martinez is executive director of READ Jackson County and also owns The Magic of Books Bookstore in downtown Seymour.

One event is a Harry Potter trivia night from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 27 at the bookstore, 115 W. Second St.

“The last time I talked to 1852 Café, they talked about making some Harry Potter treats and butter beer,” Martinez said. “We’re going to have five teams of five people each, and we’re just going to have fun like we did last time when we had it at the old bookstore, and it was pretty popular.”

This time, the event is being held as a fundraiser for READ Jackson County, so all of the proceeds will go toward that organization, Martinez said.

“The tickets for Harry Potter trivia are $20 each and are limited to 25 people, and if a parent is bringing a child to the event, they only need to purchase a ticket for the participant, so there’s no charge for the parent to stay and observe,” she said.

Martinez said they encourage participants to come to the event dressed in their Hogwarts School house robes or muggle attire.

“Last time, we had a little girl come dressed in her Gryffindor robe, and it was the most adorable thing ever,” she said. “We had a bunch of people there wearing graphic T-shirts representing their houses, and I dressed up in my Slytherin attire for the last event, and we had a lot of fun.”

Trivia questions for the upcoming event will be taken from both the books and movies.

“The main part of it will be taken from the books, but there are some questions that will be related to the movies, and I will state at the beginning of the question if it’s from the movies or the books,” Martinez said.

The next event planned is Rocking Readers Bingo from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 22 at Moose Lodge 418, 110 E. Sixth St., Seymour. Tickets are $25 each, and the event is limited to 100 people.

“We’ll have bingo prizes and door prizes, and we’ll have Schocke’s food truck coming,” Martinez said. “They have graciously donated their time to come and serve, and they’ll have some food there for purchase, like barbecue and several different types of foods, so people will have options.”

Tickets for both events are currently available online at

For those who are artistic or just looking for a fun evening out, there will be a couple of opportunities to paint this fall.

One paint event is planned for 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Jackson County Learning Center, 323 Dupont Drive, Seymour, and is limited to 2o people. Tickets will be $35. The painting will have a fall theme, and the instructor is Amy Heideman, director of the learning center.

Another paint night is scheduled for Nov. 12 at the bookstore for $35 with a limit of 30 people. 1852 Cafe will be open and serving drinks for this event. More information will be available soon on The Magic of Books Bookstore Facebook page.

“The instructor for this class will be Stacey Perry with a wintry owl theme, and Stacey is the one who painted the owl on the window of our old store, and we both really like owls,” Martinez said. “We’re just looking for some fun ways to raise some funds for READ Jackson County.”

Tickets for both of the painting events will be available on in the near future.

Martinez said funds raised for all of the planned events for READ Jackson County will help with the programming the organization offers: Babies, Books and Blankets; Leader Readers; free English classes; and Little Free Libraries.

Babies, Books and Blankets provides a new board book and receiving blanket for all babies born at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour in order to foster literacy from Day 1.

Leader Readers provides tutoring at Girls Inc. of Jackson County in Seymour with a guide for small group reading instruction. This program is targeting first through fifth grade students reading 12 to 18 months below grade level.

English language classes are designed to help English learners communicate effectively.

The Little Free Libraries offer free books available at various Jackson County locations. Founded on the premise of take one, leave one, these libraries are always filled with donated books at all reading levels.

If you have clean, odor-free, bug-free books to donate, especially children’s books, you may take them to the Little Free Library nearest you. If you’d like to report a Little Free Library that is nearing empty, contact Rhea Speckner at [email protected].

Information about READ Jackson County can be found online at

READ Jackson County fundraisers for August/September

What: Harry Potter trivia night

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 27

Where: The Magic of Books Bookstore, 115 W. Second St., Seymour

Admission: Tickets are $20 each and the event is limited to 25 people. There is no age limit.

Tickets: Available through

What: Rocking Readers Bingo

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 22

Where: Moose Lodge 418, 110 E 6th St., Seymour

Admission: Tickets are $25 each and the event is limited to 100 people

Tickets: Available through

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