Owen Juranek

Literacy is a big part of Owen Juranek‘s life, and he’s spent his summer reading the days away.

Juranek, 7, is the son of Nicole and Andrew Juranek. The Council Bluffs boy will be a first-grader at St. Albert Elementary School this fall. He said he is excited to meet his new teacher and to continue learning how to read.

Yesterday afternoon, Juranek paid a visit to the Council Bluffs Public Library with his mom and his older brother, Oliver, an incoming fourth-grader at St. Albert. The younger Juranek has been captivated by the “Elephant and Piggie” book series by Mo Willems. Being an educator — Nicole Juranek is a communications professor at Iowa Western Community College — his mom understands the importance of early childhood reading.

“Literacy is an important part of this family,” Nicole Juranek said.

Owen Juranek is known for helping spread literacy around southwest Iowa and the metro area, as well. His mom spearheads efforts to bring books into the area jails, and her sons are usually with her when she goes to make deliveries. In fact, the family made it down to the Mills County Sheriff’s Office after their library stop yesterday to deliver 100 books for the inmates at the jail.

When he isn’t hitting the books, Juranek loves playing outside and swimming at Katelman Water Park during the hot summer days. He said his family also recently enjoyed a trip to Okoboji, where the little daredevil rode the big Arnolds Park rollercoaster “16 times.”

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