- The following photo story was written and photographed by Ellen Schmid of the Kane County Law Library.
What do Google, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Family Reading Night with the Judges have in common? They are all celebrating their 20-year anniversary.
On Nov. 18, 1998, Judith Brawka, Keith Brown and Thomas Mueller were the first judges to trade their robes in for pajamas to read bedtime stories with children at the Kane County Law Library’s Family Reading Night with the Judges.
Fast forward 20 years later to 2018 and the Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center has facilitated this family-friendly program to more than 600 children and their parents. The event coincides with the Illinois State Library’s Family Reading Night, which is a statewide event to promote literacy and quality time with those important to us.
From its inception, 47 circuit judges have participated in this popular event that attracts families from throughout the community.
Law Library Director Halle Cox says she started the program in order to impart a positive image of the law into children’s minds.
“A lot of people do not have a pleasant initial experience with the legal system and because of that, we thought It would be great for the children and their parents to have a positive experience with the judges and to see the inside of the courthouse,” she said.
The 20th anniversary of Family Reading Night with the Judges was held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, in the Kane County Law Library & Self Help Legal Center. More than 50 people enjoyed hearing stories from retired chief judges Brawka and Brown, who reprised their reading roles in honor of the 20h-year celebration. They were joined by newly appointed Associate Judge Salvatore LoPicollo.
Each year after hearing stories, children have the opportunity to visit a courtroom and sit behind a real judge’s bench.
- FEATURE PHOTO CAPTION: From left to right: 16th Judicial Circuit retired Judges Judith Brawka, Keith Brown (dressed in character to read the True Story of the Three Little Pigs as Told by A. Wolf) along with newly appointed Associate Judge Salvatore LoPicollo.