Children ‘Dig into Reading’ at Slater Public Library

Whitney Sager
Children ‘Dig into Reading’ at Slater Public Library

The Slater Public Library celebrated the end of its summer reading program with a splash last Thursday, July 25. A pool party was held at the Slater pool, with a picnic lunch following at Grimm Park.

Jennifer Gogerty, director of the Slater Public Library, said this summer’s program attracted approximately 150 children, an increase from approximately 97 children last summer. She said the increase was due to the number of programs offered this year, as well as people hearing about last year’s summer reading program and wanting to join in on the fun.

In order to make it to the pool party and picnic, reading program participants had to read a minimum of 500 minutes this summer. Younger participants who cannot read yet had to spend at least 500 minutes having books read to them. Those who logged the most minutes in their age group were each awarded with a basket full of prizes. Ranen Couture, Carter Dietrich, Malery Farris, Alex Hilleman and Seth Hilleman were named the top readers.

“You have no idea how much you’ve helped your reading levels and helped you remember what you learned in school,” Gogerty told the program participants at the picnic.

With the theme “Dig into Reading,” program participants enjoyed a number of fun activities that corresponded with the theme. Some of those activities included “digging” holes in which to plant flowers at Town & Country Market, “I dig pets” with a visit to the local veterinary clinic and “digging” into history at the Slater Area Historical Association (SAHA).

Natalie Thompson, 10, said the trip to the cemetery in Slater was one of the activities she enjoyed this summer. For each of the grave markers she and the other program participants picked out, SAHA volunteers told them a little about the person buried at that marker.

Natalie’s younger brother, Aiden, 8, also participated in Slater’s summer reading program. Aiden said he was excited about getting his own library card so he could check out books to read. He also enjoyed the Indiana Jones-themed puppet show.

Along with little sister, Aubrey, 6, the Thompson children are glad they participated in the summer reading program.

“Reading is fun, and you learn lots of things,” Natalie said.

Brenden Wright was another participant in the program. He is just starting to read chapter books and read just enough minutes that he was able to attend the end of the summer party. His mom, Marsha Wright Skinner, said Brenden also enjoyed all the prizes the library offered as an incentive to read more during the summer.

“Many kids and families were coming in several times a week, even when they weren’t coming for programs,” Gogerty said, thanks to the added incentives.

Four new programs were also added this summer, Gogerty said. Those programs were a tween book club, LEGO club, teen craft time and storytime centers. Gogerty said the storytime centers were both kid- and parent-friendly, with a variety of activities for the children to take part in while allowing parents time to socialize at the library as the children played. Pre-teen and teenage volunteers played with and read to the children during the storytime centers.

“It was an extremely busy summer, but we are thrilled with its success. We know for a fact that kids and teens have been spending time this summer reading,” Gogerty said.