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Summer Reading Program continues to attract youth

July 3, 2019
By MEGHAN BRADBURY (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Summer Reading program, "A Universe of Stories," at East County Regional Library continues to attract youths, filling programs to capacity, as well as increasing the number of children registered for this year's program.

East County Regional Library Senior Librarian Head of Youth Services Angela Hall said they have registered approximately 2,000 kids this summer into the Summer Reading program.

"Adults are signing up for the Summer Reading Program, too," she said, adding that the adults receive a free book when they sign up. "Our numbers are going to be fantastic."

Kids and adults can register for the Summer Reading Program until it concludes on Saturday, Aug. 10. The Summer Reading Program also offers many incentives for the youngsters registered.

"It's a teaching opportunity for kids and parents," Hall said. "I don't think parents know how much they speak for their children."

She said it's about giving the child his, or her, own voice when they are providing a summary of the book they read to receive a stamp towards a treat at Dairy Queen.

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"The parents are standing there feeding them information about the story. If your child is in second, third grade and up, they should be able to tell a short summary. That is going to help them in school . . . literacy in everyday life. It's about communicating as well. I am hoping we are helping to grow little people in that respect," Hall said.

The Summer Reading Program is also a time a child can bond with their parents, as well as library staff. It is about building relationships, Hall said.

The staff at East Lee County Regional have worked hard and diligently to make each program at the library a success. She said although they are all tired, their customers would not know by their interaction.

"The librarian becomes a fixture. They recognize that person," Hall said of youngsters. "Most people, what they remember from their school days, is their librarian. We are a fixture in their lives in a positive way."

Hall said a child may not like reading, but when they are exposed to new things, such as magic shows, or exploring animals and science, it sparks their curiosity. She said before a program is scheduled, staff pulls books on its topic and displays them for the kids to check out.

"What we do is very rewarding. I have an awesome team. The support of our branch manager that stands behind us and gives us free range for programs . . . it's about developing robust programs for this community," Hall said.

The Summer Reading Program will resume Tuesday, July 9, after taking the Fourth of July week off with a "Universe of Animals" with the Naples Zoo from 11 a.m. to noon for kindergarten through fifth graders and "Marvel-ous Bingo" for teens from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Hall said the seating capacity for the kindergarten through fifth grade programs is 150 kids.

"Parents are upset that they cannot come in," she said to the program, adding that she shares that if they let a parent into the program, it takes away from another child having the opportunity to participate. "The whole purpose of this is that they have to learn to be independent. We are helping to develop these young independent beings. They have to learn to do that in the classroom."

The teen program recently experienced a huge number of participants, 26, with "Galaxy Art." The teens painted a canvas black before creating their own galaxy, which kept them engaged.

The Tuesday, July 16, kindergarten to fifth grade "Star Stories: Greek Myths" program will be held from 11 a.m. to noon. Hall said this program will study the stars, planets and sky.

From 1 to 2 p.m. the same day, teens, grades sixth through 12th, have the opportunity to participate in the "Star Weaving" program. Teens will learn about the stars and make their own star project.

"A lot of their programs are craft-based. They need to be hands-on. The teen programming is developed in house through the young adult librarians," Hall said.

"Outer Space Science" will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, July 23 for kindergarten through fifth grade students. The program will feature Professor DoDad and Darcy, who will share facts about the solar system, space travel, gravity and stars.

The teen program will feature "Marvel Escape Room" from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

There is also a passive program at the library for the youth, giving them the opportunity to make a solar system mobile.

Other programs include A Family Movie Matinee from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 13 featuring "Home."

Family Storytime is also held every Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m. and a STEAM Storytime Saturday, July 20, from 10 to 11 a.m.

The library, this summer, has also extended its programs to daycare centers, Veterans Park Rec Center and Veterans Park Academy of the Arts.

"We are not limited in what we can do and how we can do it. We are a library without walls," Hall said.

The East County Regional Library is at 881 Gunnery Road.

 
 

 

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