School may be out, but that doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s time to put up the books. Meet the Summer Reading Program, available at all Lincoln County branch libraries.
â€œSummer reading is really to encourage kids to keep reading all summer,â€ said Selina Keever, supervisor of the West Lincoln Branch Library. â€œIf the kids go two months without reading, they kind of go backwards.â€
The program, which is titled â€œPaws, Claws, Scales and Tales,â€ does everything it can to make reading fun.
First off, they can read anything they want and be rewarded. If they choose to pick up â€œWar and Peace,â€ thatâ€™s great, but â€œThe Babysitterâ€™s Clubâ€ will also do nicely. The goal is simply to have them read something.
â€œI think itâ€™s a good way to transition them between grade levels to have them continue reading throughout the summer,â€ said Mary Brown, a library aid at the East Lincoln Branch Library.
Children are credited for each book read and receive prizes for their work. Some may also be rewarded by their teachers beginning in the fall.
The summer reading program goes beyond books. It also includes performances by magicians, puppeteers, ventriloquists, storytellers and singers.
â€œAnything we can do to make it more exciting,â€ Keever said.
All three county libraries have scheduled performances that are child-friendly and free and open to the public.
â€œWe really encourage the kids to come, and we try to make it fun,â€ said Stephanie Osborne, childrenâ€™s librarian at the County Library in Lincolnton.
A number of this summerâ€™s programs tie in to the â€œPaws, Claws, Scales and Talesâ€ theme. One show includes snakes, another feathered friends, still another is titled â€œFish the Magish.â€
The East Lincoln Branch Library is going one step further â€“ they have a Beta fish as their library pet, and itâ€™s up to area children to name it.
â€œWeâ€™ve never had a critter in the library,â€ Brown said.
Besides prizes and shows, thereâ€™s another reason for children to pick up a book this summer.
â€œDoldrums, hot summer days,â€ Brown said. â€œSometimes itâ€™s a nice way to pass the summer.â€
Want to go? For a Summer Reading Record, visit your local library. The County Library Summer Reading Program performances are at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays at the James W. Warren Citizens Center. There will also be one program at the Betty G. Ross Park. The East Lincoln Branch will hold its Summer Reading Program performances at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays in the Rock Springs Elementary School cafeteria. There will also be one program at the East Lincoln Community Center. The West Lincoln Branch Summer Reading Program are at 6:30 p.m. at the library.
by Sarah Grano