Preparations are well underway for this year’s summer reading program at the Highland County District Library in Hillsboro.
The theme for this year’s program is Build a Better World. Several activities and events are planned for this summer with topics ranging from beekeeping to comic books.
This year the library will be hosting an end-of-program carnival, rather than a kick-off event.
“We want to celebrate how wonderful our young readers do over the summer,” said library circulation supervisor Lyn Tone.
Ages 2 through sixth grade can participate in the kids’ program. Signups begin on May 30 in the children’s library. For every 10 books a child checks out, he or she will earn a prize. After checking out 50 books (and earning five prizes), he or she will then be able to fill out an extra reading log with 20 books. Once that is completed, he or she will receive an extra prize.
In addition, kids will also be building fairy gardens this year. The library will provide a base, animals, rocks, moss, paint, and one hut for each child. Kids are encouraged to bring items from home to add to their fairy gardens. Every time they come to a summer reading event, they will have the opportunity to add to their gardens.
Tone said that the idea for the fairy gardens came from the program’s theme – building a better world.
“(To do that), you have to start small to make any changes,” she said.
Many of the events planned for this summer are connected to that very idea.
“We have several programs geared towards changing our bad habits, such as recycling, properly handling bees, and gardening,” Tone said.
The first summer reading event, a visit from Ronald McDonald, is set for June 1 at 6 p.m. Also visiting the library will be: Master Gardeners on Thursday, June 8, at 6 p.m.; local beekeepers on Thursday, June 15, at 6 p.m.; the Armstrong Air and Space Museum on Thursday, June 22, at 5:30 p.m.; penguins from the Newport Aquarium on Thursday, June 29, from 1 – 2 p.m.; and a fairy princess on Thursday, July 27, at 6 p.m.
In addition, the library will be holding a comic con on Saturday, July 15, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The library will also host a miniature golf game in the children’s department on Thursday, July 20, at 6 p.m.
Children’s department manager Gabrielle Pitzer said that each summer kids are “really excited that they get prizes just for checking out books.”
She said that during a recent trip to local kindergarten classrooms, the students thought it would be “really cool” to tell their first grade teachers that they read 50 books over the summer.
“It keeps them curious,” she said, adding that, “If you start reading young, hopefully you’ll be reading your whole life.”
For more information about the summer reading program, visit www.highlandco.org or search “Highland County District Library of Ohio” on Facebook.
Sarah Allen is an assistant librarian at the Highland County District Library in Hillsboro.