Beauval has earned this year’s title of “Readingest Community” as a part of the Northern Reading Program.

They beat out 19 other communities to earn the title.

The Northern Reading Program is an annual event that encourages people in northern communities to read in the months of January and February.

Harriet Roy, the program’s coordinator, hopes the event promotes literacy and reading in the communities.

“I just want people to be encouraged to read and to up their literacy skills. It’s not a measurable thing, but I think that if you see people participating and coming out to events in the schools, or wherever, that it’s at least a sign that this program is working,” said Roy.

The challenge averages about 20 competing communities in the north. It has been running now for 27 years.

“I know in the beginning, it was really slow going to get any community involvement in any of the things that we did, so we’ve been trying to encourage things — like things to send to the parents and the grandparents, saying these are things that are going on,” said Roy.

Roy noted that most of the correspondence for the challenge is still done through fax machines.

The previous six challenges have been won by La Loche, who placed second this year.

(PHOTO: Poster for the Northern Reading Program. Photo courtesy of