By Mary Thurwachter

Lantana is the 2023 Small Municipality winner in Palm Beach County’s Read for the Record event on Oct. 26. A certificate proclaiming the victory was presented during the Town Council’s Dec. 11 meeting.

To achieve the distinction, the town sent 37 volunteers — including the mayor, town manager, four firefighters, business owners, residents, and even former residents whose alma mater was Lantana Elementary School — to read With Lots of Love by Jenny Torres Sanchez to six local public schools and daycare centers on Read for the Record Day.

Library Director Kristine Kreidler created a video that included multiple town staff members and officials reading the book aloud — in English and Spanish — at the town’s newly renovated library, which was sent to the schools that requested a virtual reader. The video was also posted on the town’s social media page.

Kreidler and her team created a storywalk with pages from the book in the Town Hall breezeway to promote the day and let kids read the book while exploring Town Hall and its history.

“We posted our RFTR event flyers on the library’s and town’s Facebook pages, on the library’s Instagram and other platforms to demonstrate the town’s commitment to early literacy,” said Town Clerk Kathleen Dominguez.

“We held two story times at our library to guarantee that everyone, including toddlers and home-schooled children, could participate in the event,” Dominguez said. “The library guests ate free churros from the BunnBoh Churros Truck and made piñatas and other crafts inspired by the book.”

The annual Read for the Record was launched 18 years ago by the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County to highlight the importance of building early literacy and language skills so all children have the chance to enter school prepared to succeed.

“We had this distinction in the past and were finally able to recapture it,” Mayor Karen Lythgoe said of the honor.

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