“Bubbleologist” Steve Langley will present “The Soap Bubble Circus” at the Citizens Center on July 8.

The Lincoln County Public Library is offering area children a universe of reading opportunities over the summer. The series of programs kicked off on Tuesday at the James W. Warren Citizens Center in Lincolnton. The event featured games, music from a live DJ and light refreshments. During the kick-off event, children, teens and adults wishing to participate were encouraged to sign up for the summer learning program and pledge to meet weekly reading goals which they will set for themselves. 

All events are free to attend.

“Numerous studies indicate that students who don’t read or read infrequently during their summer vacation see their reading abilities stagnate or decline,” Phillip Overholtzer, the library’s Program and Outreach Coordinator, said. “If you don’t have time to visit the library in person, remember that children can check out e-books from home just like adults can. It took me about six months to get this all together and we’ve got programs from pre-school all the way to adult. We’re trying to reach the whole spectrum of age groups to get people to read.”

The theme this year is “A Universe of Stories.”   

The first program for the summer is a portable planetarium, “StarLab Lincoln,” on loan from the state library, providing information about astronomy.  Space is limited for these shows so registration is required.  Show dates and locations are:

June 13 at 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at Lincoln Charter School, 133 Eagle Nest Road in Denver

June 19 at 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at Citizens Center, 115 West Main Street in Lincolnton

July 10 at 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at West Lincoln High School, 172 Shoal Road in Vale

A “Sky Full of Stars” is a program designed for rising first to fifth graders where children will learn how to create nebula in a jar.  Sky Full of Stars program dates and locations are:

June 19 at 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. at the Florence Shanklin Library, 7837 Fairfield Forest Road in Denver

June 27 at 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. at the Charles R. Jonas Library, 306 West Main Street in Lincolnton

July 9 at 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. at the West Lincoln Branch Library, 5545 West Highway 27 in Vale

Geared towards teens, the “Alien Encounter Escape Room” will the use of robotics to successfully escape.   Dates and locations are: 

June 17 at 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Florence Shanklin Library (pre-registration is required for this event and space is limited)

July 18 at 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. at the West Lincoln Branch Library

July 24 at 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Charles R. Jonas Library

Steve Somers, the Amazing Teacher will perform his program Space Trek twice on June 18. Somers is an author, magician and a storyteller. Every show incorporates books, magic tricks, stories, a silly puppet, music, laugh out-loud humor and lots of audience interaction.   Times and locations are:

10:30 -11:30 a.m. at the Citizens Center

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. at the West Lincoln Branch Library

The Bright Star Theatre, an awarding winning traveling theater troop that performs all over the United States, will do two performances of their show, “One Small Step” on June 25.  Times and locations are:

10:30 - 11:30am at Lincolnton High School, 803 North Aspen Street in Lincolnton

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. at Lincoln Charter School

“One Small Step is going to follow man’s quest for flight from ancient Greece all the way up through the first moon landing,” Overholtzer said. “It’s going to be really interesting.”

Seven time world record holding “bubbleologist” Steve Langley will present “The Soap Bubble Circus” at the Citizens Center on July 8 from 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.   This program is designed to delight adults as well small children.  The Soap Bubble Circus has performed all over the United States and the world and been featured on Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

“Steve Langley is a seven time world record holder in making soap bubbles,” Overholtzer said. “He blows bubbles and does different tricks. I’ve never seen it before but I understand it’s fantastic. He can blow bubbles inside of bubbles, he can put people inside of bubbles, he can string bubbles along, he can make rockets out of bubbles, he’s even done it for the White House.”

The Grey Seal Puppets will present their show, “A Tangle of Tales” at the Citizens Center on July 23 from 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.   This show tangles three classic tales together and is performed by an internationally acclaimed company of puppeteers.

“This group has won the Jim Henson Award,” Overholtzer said. “From what I understand, they’ve had them here before and it was really incredible so I decided to bring them back.”

Any child who completes the summer learning program will receive a free ticket to the Hickory Crawdads baseball game on Friday, July 26 at 6:00 p.m.

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