Summer reading program begins

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

The Summer Reading Program is in full swing at the Rector Public Library. This year's theme is "Laugh It Up @ Your Library", and that's exactly what local children have been doing at the library for the past two Tuesdays.

The opening date of the program was Tuesday, June 3. Special guests were Emergency Personnel Houston Bowden and Lance Sullinger. There were 104 children attending the first program.

Brantley Terry was the special guest on Tuesday, June 10. He performed as a clown and the theme for the storytime was "Clowns and Balloons". An attentive audience of 119 children listened and watched as Terry made shapes and animals from balloons. Amy Cole assisted him.

Rector Public Library Children's Librarian Betty Lewis says the library has over 100 children every week during the summer. With the children come a good number of adults. For the first program there were 20 adults in attendance.

There are two programs offered at the Rector Library, the first is for the preschoolers through fourth graders and takes place in the children's section of the library. This is the main program. Simultaneously, Mrs. Susan Wells and Mrs. Sue Rowton present the Charlie May Simon program in a separate area of the library for the fourth and fifth graders. Both programs begin at 9:00 a.m. and run between one hour and one hour and a half.

The goals of the program include making reading fun, add a sense of challenge, and keep kids reading throughout the summer months. Lewis said, "We want to teach kids reading is fun and the library is a fun place to come." Rector Library Director Deana Mills said, "This is our main event. It's what we work for all year." Part of the program includes getting the kids acquainted with where things are located in the library. Christy Murray, Assistant Director of the Rector Library, and volunteers Virginia Reid and Janet Manchester, assist Lewis and Mills during the Summer Reading Program.

One difference between this year's program and the programs held in years past is that not only Arkansas libraries are working under this theme. Several states including Arkansas, Alaska, Wisconsin, Utah, Kansas, and Montana are all working with the same theme as the Piggott Library.

This united effort to encourage summer reading is part of the Collaborative Summer Library Program. The Collaborative Summer Library Program is a grassroots effort in which the participating systems and states develop a unified and high-quality promotional and programming product.

All libraries participating in the program have access to the same artwork, incentives, publicity, and each library receives an extensive manual of programming and promotional ideas. Incentives include prizes for the children reading the most books. The librarians would like to thank the Sonic, McDonalds, Dollar General Store, and Harps for donating prizes for the summer program.

The Collaborative Summer Library Program began in 1987 with 10 Minnesota regional systems and has grown to include participants from 14 states.

The Rector Public Library's Summer Reading Program will continue through the end of June. Pre-registration is not necessary. Children are registered as they enter the program and given a number that determines the prize winners. Next week's special guest will be Brian Kinder with his rollicking one man music show on Tuesday, June 17 at 9 a.m. The awards ceremony will end the program on June 24.

For more information about the storytime program, persons may visit the library's website at or call 595-2410.

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