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South Valley Journal

Kids learn about the joy of reading at a book club created by Miss Bluffdale

Oct 14, 2019 03:03PM ● By Stephanie Yrungaray

Kids from the summer book club pose with Miss Bluffdale 2019. (Photo courtesy Sarah Strong).

By Stephanie Yrungaray | [email protected]

While other high schoolers were swimming or hanging out with friends, Miss Bluffdale 2019 Sarah Strong spent a good part of her summer planning and facilitating a weekly book club for kids. 

 “Growing up, I really did not like to read very much,” Strong said. “Then in fifth grade, I was introduced to my favorite book of all time, and it got me hooked. My grades went from C’s to A’s, and it helped me in so many different areas.” 

Strong’s platform for the Miss Bluffdale pageant is “Read, Lead, Succeed: Find a passion in reading.” 

In the city newsletter this summer, Strong recommended a book of the month for children, youth and adults. Kids ages 10–15 were invited to a book club discussion hosted by Strong each week. Strong said between five to seven kids came to each meeting. 

Katelyn Hall, 13, said the book club was a fun and different experience. 

“I got to meet people I hadn't met before and read books I hadn’t read before,” Katelyn said. “I read more this summer than I have in a long time.”  

“The platform that the queen has is her choice and it's her passion,” said pageant director Natalie Hall. “Sarah’s platform was unique and really important because reading changed her life, and she wanted that same change for other youth.” 

Besides the book club, Strong also did a book drive for a women’s shelter. 

Strong, a senior at Riverton High School, is now shifting her focus back to her education but plans on continuing her platform by encouraging fellow students to join their high school’s book club. 

“Reading is something a lot of kids dread doing,” Strong said. “But books make connections and [book clubs] are a great place to talk about what is going on in your life. It’s so important. If you want to be a leader, you’ve got to be a reader.”