Members of the Seventh Ward Elementary 5th-grade book club cast their votes for the Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Program (LYRC) on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

After 42 members voted, the verdict was in at Seventh Ward, with Jewel Parker Rhodes’ “Towers Falling” receiving the most votes. The book, set 15 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, tells the story about a group of young people who weren’t alive to witness this defining moment in history, but begin to realize how much it colors their everyday lives.

The Seventh Ward book club members felt privileged to exercise a right usually reserved until the age of 18 — the right to cast their vote on official voting machines provided by the Secretary of State’s office.

Book club members met regularly in groups before school on Wednesday mornings to complete activities from all of the picture books and at least two chapters from the LYRC list in order to be eligible to vote.

The LYRC Program is an enrichment program designed to instill the importance of both reading and voting among students in grades 3-12. The program, sponsored by the State Library of Louisiana, is divided up into three grade levels — 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 — and gives students at least 10 books to choose from.

Last year, Louisiana students read more than 73,597 books and cast approximately 24,749 votes.

Polls for this year’s program will officially close March 1, with the winning books to be announced later in the month.

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