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‘Universe’ awaits at public library’s summer reading program

Children in Lincoln County will have the opportunity to explore the universe this summer, one book at a time.

The theme of the Lincoln County Public Library’s summer reading program is “A Universe of Stories,” and children’s library Kasie Beth Brown is offering activities to go along with it including a visit by a mobile planetarium and “The Snake Man.”

Registration is free and the program is open to children from birth and older. Any child can attend the program events without registering, but Brown encourages registration so children can earn prizes for reading, like cookies from Janie’s Bakery or slushes from Sonic.

The goal is five books a week read “to prevent the summer slide,” she said.

Brown said studies show that young children who don’t read during the summer break can drop a reading level before the next school year begins.

During the summer program, Brown encourages children to read close to their level but also to read for fun.

The schedule through June includes preschool storytime on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and programs for all children on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Younger children are encouraged to participate in the early morning programs, she said.

Wednesday programs include a visit by the staff of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science June 5, the mobile planetarium from the University of Mississippi June 12 (and June 13), “out of this world” crafts June 19 and a visit by Terry Vandeventer, known as “The Snake Man,” June 26.

Vandeventer serves as the herpetology field associate with the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

Brown is excited to be able to bring the mobile planetarium to the library for two days.

“You feel like you’re in a planetarium,” she said.

The planetarium will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, but because it is limited to 20 to 25 people at a time, registration for timeslots will be required, she said.

Saturdays through June will feature family movies, starting June 8. Movies begin at 10 a.m. in the meeting room and include light breakfast snacks, juice and coffee.

A schedule of movies to be shown is available at the library.

The library requires children be accompanied to programs by a responsible teenager 16 or older or an adult or guardian.

To check out books, children will need a library card. For that, they must be accompanied by a legal guardian or parent with a photo identification. That person will be responsible for any items checked out of the library by the child.

Brown is in need of teen volunteers for the summer programs and monetary donations to help with craft projects. She said the average attendance for Wednesday programs last year was 300 people. About 360 children signed up for the summer reading program last year.

For more information, call the library at 601-833-3369.