If you doubt that youngsters are reading books in this technical era with their always-available cellphones and computers, attend one of the annual Family Reading Nights sponsored by The Missourian. It is part of The Missourian’s Newspaper In Education program.

About 600 children and parents attended Family Reading Night last Friday at the Washington Middle School. The emphasis was on reading and listening to stories read to them, plus other activities. It was the 19th consecutive year for Family Reading Night.

What was so revealing and impressive again was the keen interest the youngsters have in reading and learning from adult presenters. The main speaker was Lisa Papp, from Pennsylvania, children’s books author and illustrator. She had the children’s attention!

The main sponsors of the program that make the event so powerful are the Washington School District and the Washington Optimist Club. Additional support comes from the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co., New Haven, Washington Public Library, Washington High School football team, Washington NEA, Neighborhood Reads and others. Also on hand to take part in the program and meet with the children were officers of the Washington Police Department. The officers are there every year.

Then there are countless volunteers who help with the many activities and jobs that are necessary to stage a program of this magnitude. The support given by Washington area people is greatly appreciated. That includes members of the Family Reading Night Committee. We thank the many parents and grandparents who attend with the children.

To put reading and learning in the spotlight is very gratifying!