Our newspaper celebrated a very special milestone recently.

Book Buzz, The Missourian’s youth literacy initiative, marked its 10th anniversary in September. We celebrated the occasion with a birthday party at the Washington Public Library Sunday.

The event gave us an opportunity to recognize and pay tribute to Book Buzz’s sponsors, the businesses, service organizations and individuals who have helped us put more than 10,000 quality hardcover books on the shelves of school and public libraries in Franklin, Warren and St. Charles counties.

That is a lot of books and it speaks volumes, no pun intended, of the success of the program.

But Book Buzz has done more than deliver books to libraries. It has played a vital role in championing literacy in the areas our newspaper serves. Book Buzz has done this by celebrating reading and the infinite ways it can enrich our lives.

And it has succeeded by making reading fun through events like Run to Read, Family Reading Night and the The Missourian’s Reader Recognition Night at the Washington Town and Country Fair.

The Book Buzz project is responsible for bringing dozens of authors and illustrators to this area to promote their work and to share their inspiration with young readers.

Book Buzz is part of The Missourian’s award-winning Newspaper in Education program which is led by Educational Services Director Dawn Kitchell and Book Buzz Coordinator Chris Stuckenschneider.

The pair are passionate advocates for literacy. It was their vision that launched Book Buzz a decade ago.

The project caught on with the public and educators who saw it as a way to get young people interested in reading. Along the way, they have won national acclaim for the program and our newspaper.

They have also won the community’s respect and admiration through their relentless efforts to promote literacy among young people.

We salute Chris and Dawn and all of our employees who assist them in running a program that has grown substantially in size and scope over the past 10 years. We also salute the many sponsors who have made Book Buzz such a success.

Happy Birthday, Book Buzz!