It’s summer again, and that means it’s time to read!
Blackfalds Public Library and Mary C. Moore Library in Lacombe have both kicked off their annual summer reading programs.
This year’s theme is ‘Go!’ and as usual, the theme is an open one that allows for creativity and variation within each of the libraries involved.
In Blackfalds and Lacombe, each of the libraries has chosen to realize that theme in its own way.
Blackfalds will be decorating the library’s program room with things that ‘Go!’ in the air, in water, on the ground and on roads.
Participants in the summer reading program will also be able to chart their progress on a map of Canada by moving a mile on the map for every minute they read and even have passports stamped for learning about certain locations in the country.
In Lacombe, participants in the program will receive passports and ‘visit’ seven different countries each week from now until Aug. 23.
For each country, participants will learn about the food, music, sports, transportation and culture of that nation.
Both libraries are also logging how much children read over the summer and offering rewards for participating youngsters.
Readers in Lacombe can win grand prizes like gift cards to bookstores as well as minor prizes like bookmarks and other reading-related paraphernalia.
In Blackfalds readers can win cupcakes from Family Foods, slushies from Shell, ice cream from After the Grind as well as other prizes donated from local businesses.
There are a number of reasons for children to get involved with their library’s summer reading program.
It encourages the use of libraries, is a way for kids to have fun during the summer and also helps children maintain their reading skills in the months they are not at school.
“The purpose of my program, mainly, is to get kids into the library in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere so they come back forever,” said Mary Poole, children’s programmer for the Mary C. Moore Library.
Teressa Greening, program facilitator for Blackfalds Public Library, agreed. She said that kids who participate in the summer reading programs tend to continue to visit the library.
“They tend to want to keep coming back,” said Greening. “They feel at home.”
Blackfalds kicked off their program with face painting and a performance from the Giggle Gang on July 8.
Greening said that Blackfalds Library also has a number of events going on over the summer like puppet shows, crafts and other attractions happening nearly every day.
Each year in Lacombe, the Mary C. Moore Library has one major event as part of its summer reading program.
This year’s event is a talent show and will take place in the County Room of the LMC from 1-3 p.m. on Aug. 18.
Poole encouraged all of the children who use the library to enter in the show.
“I know I have talented children out there,” said Poole.
Summer reading programs are put on by libraries all over Alberta every year and are sponsored by TD Canada Trust.
TD chooses the theme and provides promotional materials for the program while libraries fund other parts of the program, like prizes, with budgeted dollars and/or fundraising.
Programs at both the Blackfalds Public and Mary C. Moore libraries are done on a drop-in basis and are for children 13 and under.