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Summer Reading Program set to launch

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Mason Evans, 6, designs his collage puppet during the 2018 Summer Reading Kick-Off Party at Braswell Memorial Library.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Friday, June 14, 2019

Braswell Memorial Library will kick off this year’s Summer Reading Program with plenty of action from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. next Friday on the library’s back lawn.

This annual signature event will feature a variety of carnival-style games, activities and entertainment by balloon artists and juggling stilt walkers. Appearances by area mascots such as the Chick-Fil-A Cow, Sparky the Fire Dog, McGruff the Crime Dog and the library’s own beloved Rocky the Reading Rabbit will make the free event even more special. Grilled hot dogs and Gardner’s BBQ will satisfy the taste buds of library patrons old and young who attend the event.

“The Summer Reading Kickoff is the official start of the Summer Reading Program,” said Jennifer Stearns, manager of youth services at Braswell Memorial Library. “This year’s theme is ‘A Universe of Stories.’”

Children and adults alike will be able to sign up for the Summer Reading Program at the kickoff event or in the library if they miss the kickoff event. Prize categories will be available for the Read to Me preschool age group, elementary readers, young adult readers, adults and the genealogy/local history group. The program officially begins on June 21 and will end on July 31.

“Summer reading time is important for children who are out of school because it helps prevent summer learning loss and can help children maintain or even improve their reading level. Besides, it is fun,” Stearns said. “We are able to offer reading adventures to children of all ages.”

Reading also is important for adults over the summer because many adults enjoy reading adventures and the acquisition of knowledge. The Summer Reading Program allows adults to celebrate the library and perhaps earn a gift card for doing something they enjoy anyway.

For adults who are parents, grandparents or caregivers for children over the summer months, there is an even better reason to participate, Stearns said.

“Adults are the role models for the kids, so if the kids see the adults reading, they will be more likely to read themselves,” Stearns said.

While older participants are likely to earn gift cards for participating in the program, younger participants will earn T-shirts, books, coupons for local businesses and other items.

“We have a lot of community support for this program each summer because a lot of businesses like to encourage people to read,” Strearns said.

Over the summer, the library also will host several other events for children on Wednesdays.

Ventriloquist Jeff Scott will bring his zany “friends” to entertain patrons at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on June 26 in the Warner Room at the library.

The Bright Stars Touring Theatre will present “Jack’s Adventures in Space” at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on July 10 in the Warner Room.

Children’s librarian Scooter Hayes will incorporate rap into his story-telling at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on July 17. This event will be held in the Black Box Theatre at the Imperial Center.

Fish the Magish will present a comedy magic show combined with story-telling at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on July 23 in the Warner Room.

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