Public library kicks off Summer Reading Program this week

Published 10:39 am Monday, June 6, 2016

Star File Photo  Children's Librarian Ashlee Williams hands out prizes during the grand finale celebration of last year's Summer Reading Program.

Star File Photo
Children’s Librarian Ashlee Williams hands out prizes during the grand finale celebration of last year’s Summer Reading Program.

While some children may think of Summer as a time to enjoy lazy days, others yearn for action and adventure in their vacation from school and the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library is glad to help them find just what they are looking for through the Summer Reading Program.
Each year, the library hosts the reading program for children of all ages as a way to not only entertain the children during the summer months but to also encourage them to continue reading while they are out of school.
The theme for this year’s Summer Reading Program is: Play. Read. Grow. Children’s Librarian Ashlee Williams said the theme encourages them children to stay active through play, to read to improve their knowledge and to grow both their bodies and their minds.
“We have a lot of outdoor games and activities for them,” Williams said. The program will also include activities with the community garden at the library, which Williams said also goes along with the “grow” part of this year’s theme.
As with years past, Williams said lots of special guests from the community from a variety of professions will be stopping by the library to visit with the children and talk about the work they do.
The Summer Reading Program is open children from infants up through elementary school age.
On Tuesdays, the library will host two program times for children of all ages —9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
The 10:30 a.m. program will include the children involved in the ESP programs through the city schools as well as children from the Elizabethton/Carter County Boys and Girls Club.
“For people who want a smaller crowd we added the 9:30 a.m. session,” Williams said.
On Wednesdays, the library will host the program for pre-School age children at 10:30 a.m.
A new portion of the program will be debuting at the library this year, Williams said.
“We’ve added a Tween and Teen summer reading this year too,” she said.
The Tween and Teen program will also include a variety of activities including a terrarium and a Biltmore-themed event to go along with the popular book Serafina and the Black Cloak.
There will be prizes along the way and a grand prize at the end for the Tween and Teen program, Williams said.
The Summer Reading Program kicks off on Tuesday, June 6. Participants can sign up on that day or any time before July 18. The program will conclude with a special grand finale celebration which will be held on July 26 and 27.
“It’s going to be a big summer,” Williams said.
In addition to the reading program, the library is also serving as a feeding site for the Second Harvest Food Bank’s Summer Food Service Program.
“We are doing free breakfast and lunch for all children under 18,” Williams said.
Meals will be served at the library Monday through Saturday. Breakfast will be served from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
This year, there are a number of community sponsors who are helping to support the program either through donations, providing meals or helping to provide programming. Among the program sponsors are the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department, the Carter County Health Department, the UT Agriculture Extension Office, the Kiwanis Club and several community churches, Williams said.
Also, Williams wanted to thank the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and the inmate work crews for their help and support of the program.
“The trustees at the jail made the games for the library,” Williams said, adding there are lots of outdoor games such as corn hole, life-sized Jenga and huge wooden dice. “They have been a big help. We couldn’t have gotten the gardens or our outdoor games done without them.”

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