Melissa Middle School students in grades 6-8 recently took part in Teen Read Week, where they participated in themed activities and were encouraged to boost their reading. The designated theme this year was “Read for the fun of it.”

Teen Read Week is a National Literacy Initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, and it has been annually celebrated since 1998. Its purpose is to encourage teens to be avid readers and library users.

“This is my third year as the librarian, and every year I’ve tried to make the library a more inviting and enjoyable place, especially during Teen Read Week,” Cari Montgomery, the Library media specialist at Melissa Middle School, said.

This year during Teen Read Week Montgomery organized several activities for students to participate in while finding books that made a difference.

Random teachers were photographed with their heads wrapped as mummies for “Guess the Mummy” and students tried to identify each teacher. The only clues students had were the teachers’ eyes and noses.

In “Guess the Pumpkin Weight,” students guessed the weight of a large pumpkin pounds and ounces. Additionally, an already-damaged book was shredded and placed in a mason jar, and students used the mystery book’s words as clues to guess its title and author.

Other activities included a bookmark challenge, a photography contest and a photo booth featuring masks and props.

Students had one week to participate in the library’s Teen Read Week activities and contests before turning in all final guesses and entries on Friday, Oct. 28.

That same Friday, all guesses were tabulated, entries were judged and winners were selected. The winners were announced before school let out.

Teen Read Week contest winners included: Eric Ramirez in eighth grade, Tevin Galbreath in seventh grade, Canyon Power in sixth grade, Annabelle Brown in eighth grade and Bianca Ruiz in eighth grade.

“I’ve always believed that reading has to be meaningful,” Montgomery said. “When the right book is chosen, it can bring emotion, change someone’s perspective, or change a life. For me, the right teacher and the right book changed my life. As a result, my chance to make a difference as a librarian is through the books and fun activities throughout the year.”