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Participants of the recent fiction writing workshop, led by local author Sienna Alfano (far right)

On June 1 – for the third year – Music Compound launched the Rock Your Summer Reading (RYSR) initiative. Music Compound has again partnered with area businesses to provide special treats, one-of-a-kind experiences, and cool items as prizes; participants receive prizes for every five books they read, with the prize value increasing as the number of books they read grows.

As part of the RYSR program, Music Compound presented three two-hour workshops, led by local young author Sienna Alfano, to inspire young readers and writers. Each workshop focused on a different area of writing: poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

Alfano, 10, has been writing short stories such as, “The Flying Refrigerator” since the age of 3. She is an avid reader who enjoys mystery novels such as Nancy Drew, which was the inspiration for her first book, “The Mysterious Notes,” which she started writing at the age of 6.

“Practice makes perfect,” advised Alfano, who has logged plenty of practice in her young writing career. “Write a little of what you enjoy every day to become a great writer.”

Homeschool student Aunalise Bowder, 9, really enjoyed the fiction writing workshop.

“The class has inspired me to write more. I usually don’t like writing but she [Alfano] made writing fun,” Bowder said. “And I think it’s super-awesome that Sienna is teaching the class!”

“At Music Compound, we are committed to educating students all year long and the Rock Your Summer Reading program has been indisputably popular. The kids are having fun and parents love that their kids are exercising their brains over the summer,” said Music Compound owner Jenny Townsend. “The workshops have been a huge success, boosting participants’ literacy skills while also offering the inspiration of seeing a peer who has already been published.”

This year, the young readers are closing in on 2,300 books (and counting). Last year, nearly 80 children participated in Rock Your Summer Reading, logging more than 1,700 total books, and 27 children qualified for the grand prize drawing by reading at least 50 books.

For more information, contact Music Compound: [email protected] or 941-379-9100. There is also a Rock Your Summer Reading Facebook group, with live reading events and plentiful inspiration to keep those pages turning.

About Music Compound
The Music Compound – with two locations in Sarasota and Manatee counties – provides an environment to inspire, collaborate and educate children and adults in pursuit of their love of music. The goal is to transform dreams into reality by providing a contemporary and influential environment for musicians of all ages. For more information, visit