summer reading

This year’s theme for the Sammy Brown Library summer reading program is “A Universe of Stories.”

The Sammy Brown Library will continue its annual summer reading program in the coming weeks, and this year’s theme is centered around space.

“Our theme is ‘A Universe of Stories.’ So it’s gonna be all about space because this summer is 50 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon,” Children’s Coordinator Tanya Millican said.

The program will kick off with a special guest on Wednesday, May 29 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. As part of the kick-off, Comprehensive Communication Services will bring one of their mobile emergency command centers to demonstrate how they use drones to assist organizations in a crisis situation, Library Director Kim Turner said.

For the rest of the summer until July 31, summer reading will be Mondays and Fridays at 10 a.m., with games and activities on Monday and crafts on Fridays, and Wednesdays at 2 p.m. with educators and entertainers in the children’s area. Mondays at 10 a.m., kids between the ages of 11-13 can come for activities in the hospitality room as well.

“Many students have attended summer reading programs before but reached our 10-year-old age limit,” Turner said. “They expressed an interest in having activities at the library through the summer, and we were lucky enough to find a volunteer to lead this group.”

Parents will need to come to the library and fill out a registration form for their children ages 3 to 10 and make sure each child has a library card. Kids will get a bag including a summer reading log and a sticker page to keep up with what they’re reading. When they check out books, Millican said, they’ll be given a strip of stickers to go on the library mural and be able to fill out the mural together through out the summer. Children ages 11 to 13 will just need to sign in whenever they come on Mondays.

Kids will be able to earn two rewards through attending programs and tracking their reading time. There will be a skate party on Friday, July 28 at the Rolling Rhino Skating Rink from 2 to 4 p.m. for those who qualify, and on Wednesday, July 31, the Gamester’s Paradise bus, a renovated bus filled with video games, will be at the library for the program’s conclusion.

There will be a variety of educators and entertainers coming on Wednesdays this summer. Those guests include Manuel Rodriguez, a NASA engineer who was featured recently in the Crossroads Magazine, on June 12 and Professor QB, a pirate magician who tells stories with balloons, on July 24.

Millican spends all year planning activities and events for the library’s summer reading program, Turner said.

“In addition to all the fun activities, we really want kids to focus on reading for fun,” Millican said. “Some of the best children’s books are about things they won’t learn during regular reading at school.”

Millican encourages kids and parents to find something new, different, informative or even silly to read about this summer.

“Summer reading is really important to (helps kids) retain what they’ve learned throughout the previous school year,” Millican said. “And it’s also great to get them prepared for the next school year or prepared to even start school.”

The Sammy Brown Library is located at 319 South Market Street in Carthage. Parents can sign up their children for the program at any time during the summer free of charge.