Businesses sweeten summer reading

EAST MIDDLEBURY — Since opening her candy store Middlebury Sweets in 2007, Blanca Jenne has been searching for a fun and exciting way to enrich the Addison County community. Now, with the help of other local businesses, she has come up with just the plan she was looking for.
“I wanted to find a way to give back to the community, and I enjoy reading with my daughter tremendously,” Jenne explained.
After considering how her fondness for reading could play into her desire to give back, Jenne devised a plan for a children’s summer reading program at Middlebury Sweets. She understands how important it is for children to keep up their reading skills over the summer months, and she realized that her candy store could provide the incentive needed to encourage enthusiasm about books.
Working with the help of Ilsley Public Library, Jenne’s Sweet Rewards Summer Reading Program will run from June 15 to Aug. 15 for kids from kindergarten to eighth grade.
Any child who reads four books and submits a reading log to Middlebury Sweets by Aug. 15 will get to pick out half a pound of free candy from the store’s 200 varieties of delectable goodies. They will also receive a $5 gift certificate from Green Peppers Restaurant in Middlebury.
In addition, every child who submits a reading log by the deadline will be entered for a chance to win a number of giveaways from local businesses that will be distributed at the end of the program.
Rewards include gift certificates from sponsors such as A&W Root Beer, Rosie’s Restaurant, Ben Franklin, Maple Landmark Toys, Vermont Book Shop, and more.
Reading logs can be picked up at Middlebury Sweets and at Ilsley Public Library. Each child is allowed only one log. For more information on the program, sponsors, and prizes, visit www.middleburysweets.com.
Jenne expressed her gratitude to the businesses that are sponsoring her program, and added that their involvement shows their dedication to enhancing the community.
The summer program is also part of the store’s larger remodeling effort to confirm its slogan’s claim that it is “the funnest place in town!”
Middlebury Sweets, formerly known as Sweet Surprises Down Candy Lane, will be having a grand re-opening in mid-July to commemorate its name change and expansion, complete with a candy sale, giveaways, and free hotdogs.
A fun addition to the store includes a display of more than 100 candy dispensers, which Jenne collected herself. That way, she explained, it will not only be a candy store, but also a sweets museum of sorts.

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