As letters and numbers were randomly spit out of a rolling bin filled with colorful balls, they were announced to the anxious audience.
Dearborn Christian Fellowship CRC received nearly 200 books for its Book Bingo event.
With each letter combination, youngsters perused the bingo cards sitting in front of them. Slowly but surely, cards filled up.
“Did we win?” young Noelle Rumschlay asked her mother.
“Not yet,” Elizabeth Rumschlay replied, smiling. “We’re almost there.”
The announcements continued, delivering more letters and numbers as young players continued their search.
Before long, Asher Englert had the winning combination in front of him.
“Book Bingo!” he yelled out enthusiastically.
For kids at Dearborn (Mich.) Christian Fellowship CRC, National Reading Month translated into a leisurely afternoon of Book Bingo. In front of the room were tables filled with books donated by church members and area schools.
Bingo organizer Elise Englert worked with the church’s community outreach director Dale Werth in soliciting book donations to ensure that by the end of the Book Bingo event, each participant left with at least one book.
They placed announcements in school newsletters and displayed flyers, building a bridge between the church and the community. Englert also enlisted the help of a local MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers), bringing in donations from a variety of people.
By the end of the donation drive, Werth said, nearly 200 books had been collected. The church purchased a small allotment of chapter books, rounding out the prizes available to Book Bingo participants.
Englert said she was surprised how many books were collected, but knew all of the reading material would find its way into good hands.
Each round of Book Bingo included five winners, giving participants the chance to choose from the collection of books that ranged from picture books to longer stories for young readers.
It didn’t take long for Englert to see that the bingo game was a hit.
“We just thought this (event) would be something fun,” Englert said. “Everyone likes to get something new, and we thought it would be a good way to get kids to get some new books.”