The children’s Summer Reading Program will return to the Mason County Libraries this year, with reading, crafts, and activities being held inside the libraries.
This comes following the summer of 2020, when the program was held “make and take” style due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kits were handed to the children outside the door, and activities were posted in the windows and in vestibules.
“We’re optimistic, and will be going back to our in-person program,” said Pam Thompson, county library director. “We will have outdoor activities also, however.”
The theme for this year’s event is “Imagine Your Story,” and will be carried out at all three library locations in Point Pleasant, Mason and New Haven. The program will run from June 1 through August 6, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There will be 10 weekly themes, such as “Mythical Creature,” “Villain Week,” “Imagination Week,” and “Local Legends.” Children will have different activities and crafts each day, which will build on the week.
For example, during “Magical Gardens” week, participants will paint a planter or box on the first day, fill it the second, and choose and place miniatures in the gardens the following days to create a scene. There will be choices for both boys and girls, Thompson said, including fairies, gnomes, dinosaurs, and accessories likes houses, campers and more.
In addition, those attending will “Read for Beads.” Each child will receive a chain necklace at the beginning of the program, and at various individual intervals of minutes read, will receive a special bead or a “brag tag.” By the end of the summer, the children will have the opportunity to fill their chains.
Tickets will also be given to those participating and visiting the library. Drawings for various prizes and gift cards will be held at the end of the program.
A performance and concert by Tony M. Music will be held on June 25. He will perform at the New Haven Library at 2 p.m., then at 6:30 p.m. at the Point Pleasant Library.
Another special event will be on Saturday, July 31, when the “Mason County Tri-Wizard Tournament” will be held. Children will be divided into two age groups with “dragon slaying,” an obstacle course, and maze being held for the older children. Younger participants will compete in a dragon egg hunt, relay race and maze. Winners will receive ribbons, and the grand prize winner will receive a lighted trophy purchased from Universal Studios.
As in the past several years, free lunches will be distributed daily. The meals are for all children up to 18 years, regardless of parents’ income. Children do not have to participate in summer reading to receive the lunches, which will continue until school resumes.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.