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Juvenile Detention Center youth developing a passion for reading

Center has checked out 1,000+ books from Great Falls Public Library in past year
CCJDC books
Posted at 6:21 PM, Mar 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-21 20:21:32-04

GREAT FALLS — Reading a book is something that may seem old fashioned, but many of the youth at the Cascade County Juvenile Detention Center have been reading a lot of books which has led many of them to develop a passion for the written word.

They say it has had a big impact on their lives - with every turn of the page comes the opportunity to open the mind.

"Reading books help me open my mind up to different ideas and a different way of thinking," said one girl.

Because the youth are juveniles in the detention center, MTN can't identify them.

"For me, reading kind of helps me get out of my head and focus on the characters and what they're doing, what's going on in their lives or their daily activities," said another girl.

For these two girls, their passion for reading started with the first books they read at the center.

"'A Child Called It,'" the first girl said when asked what the first book she read was. "Everything that happened in the book was really real. Everything that happened in there is things that happen to people in real life."

"'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas and it's one of my favorite books now," the other girl said when asked about her first book. "I read that book a little bit in eighth grade for a book report but I didn't really read it. I kind of watched the movie and then I wrote about it. But I actually read it in here and I was very interested in it because it's based on Black Lives matter and the character in it, her name is Star, and she is a very strong character."

On March 2, the detention center posted on Facebook the Center had checked out 1,001 books in the past year - an accomplishment that may help the youth turn a new page in life. Both girls plan to continue reading once they leave the center.

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