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Library launches summer reading program

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Isabella Lewis, 4, high-fives Pattie Davis after receiving a balloon animal from her on Friday during the Summer Reading Kick-Off Party at Braswell Memorial Library.

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By AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The parking lot was full Friday at Braswell Memorial Library as local residents attended the 12th annual Summer Reading Program Kick-Off Party. 

“We had an excellent turnout this year,” library Director Catherine Roche said. “We are grateful to community members for attending and supporting this event. Through this program, we hope to help the students in our community to do better in school.”

Roche said she also is grateful for all the community partners who helped to make the Summer Reading Kick-Off Party a success. 

“PNC Bank supported this event financially and through volunteer efforts,” Roche said. “We had many other community partners who donated items or volunteered time to this event and we could not do it without them.”

Roche said about 2,000 children generally sign up for the Summer Reading Program at Braswell Memorial Library and about 700 children generally complete the program. However, Roche said the library offers more than books during the summer.

“We offer these children experiences by hiring professionals to give performances during the summer free of charge,” Roche said. “We hope these events will not only encourage reading but will create memories for these children.”

Juvoyna Hart and other staff members from the Precious Ones Day Care on Burton Street brought 19 of their charges to the event, which featured a bounce house, slide, a man on stilts and other activities. The event also featured pizza and hot dogs as well as chicken legs and hush puppies from Gardner’s Barbecue Restaurant.

“We came for the festivities, “ Hart said. “We came last year and it was real nice, so we decided to come back.”

Hart also said the staff members of Precious Ones Day Care feel that efforts to promote literacy are important. 

“We bring the kids to the library once a week during the summer. Reading helps build their understanding and comprehension. It also helps build the kids’s imaginations,” Hart said.

Liam Willis, 11, attended the event with his grandmother and little brother. Willis said he had an ulterior motive for signing up the for Summer Reading Program.

“I really like reading, and I am hoping this will help my mom to remember to bring me to the library more often this summer,” Wills said.

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