Library reading program marks another successful summer

Published 5:00 am Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ten-year-old Corbin Lester read 1,087 pages this summer to getthe shirt he received Wednesday from children’s librarian DonnaKenney at the Lincoln County Public Library.

Corbin said a good bit of his success was due to the fact thathe really enjoys R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” series.

“The books are scary,” he said. “I read pretty much all ofthem.”

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His 8-year-old brother Zachary is an aspiring guitarist. He saidreading is not his favorite thing in the world, but he did get 11books read over the summer.

“He loved reading the animal books,” said their mother, MelissaLester. “All the books he read were about animals.”

Kenney said the “Goosebumps” series was a popular one among thechildren she sees in the library, and that during the summerreading program, other popular books were the “Junie B. Jones”series by Barbara Park and the “Magic Tree House” series by MaryPope Osborne.

Children were required to read 25 books or 1,000 pages to beawarded a T-shirt and other prizes. If they just wanted to read attheir own pace, that was allowed as well.

Melissa Lester said it was important to her to get her childreninvolved in summer reading for their own sakes.

“I really wanted them in the program to give them an incentiveto read through the summer,” she said. “Also, they really enjoy theprograms.”

The Lester family, like many others, has been coming to thelibrary for a long time, too, Kenney said.

“These two have been coming to the library since they weretoddlers,” she said.

Kenney said the summer reading program enrollment was up thisyear, with 527 children enrolled at the beginning, and of those,around 200 got certificates for their efforts.

“This year we saw a few more older children,” Kenney said,adding the program is geared toward children in kindergartenthrough fifth grade. “It was definitely the biggest registrationwe’ve had in a long time.”

But as fuel costs are affecting everything else, Kenney saidthey affected the summer reading program a little as well.

“Many of the parents said they weren’t able to get to all theprograms we offered because of the cost of gas,” she said. “Some ofthe people out in the county were having to budget their trips intotown and couldn’t make it to all the presentations.”

And the presentations are often the children’s favorite part ofthe summer reading program, Kenney said. This summer it showcased aman who brought several different kinds of snakes for the childrento look at, and there was a painter who did a painting and drawingclass as well. A local veterinarian visited with a dog, and the”Litter Bug Lady” spoke to children about keeping things picked upand clean.

And library officials are grateful to the sponsors they had forthose programs, Kenney said, which are paid for out of donations,not any part of the budget. She said the library is already lookinginto potential programs for next year if the funding is there.

“We’d love to have more professional entertainment for thekids,” she said. “So we’re still looking for additional sponsorsfor next summer.”

Meanwhile, Kenney said, library officials said they always seemore children in the summer, so with school on the horizon thingsare beginning to wind down. Kenney said there’s usually a flood ofchildren who come in looking for their summer reading books fromschool, and the children who come in for the summer programs.During the school year, though, they tend to only come insporadically.

Overall, Kenney said, the summer reading program was a success,with enough children that the annual party that was held last weekhad to be divided into two parties, just to make sure there weren’ttoo many children to handle.

“And we keep hearing from the children that they had a good timehere,” she said.