Rock ?n? roll ?n summer reading


The Mt. Pleasant Public library is ready to rock ?n? roll their children?s program this summer.

This summer reading program?s theme, ?libraries rock,? will focus on getting children excited about reading and bring an upbeat tempo to the task. Anyone 17 and younger is encouraged to sign up.

?Libraries and summer reading just kind of go together,? says youth services librarian Rebekah Hosford. The free summer reading program will begin June 4 and continue until Aug. 3. The program will kickoff on the front lawn with games, activities and food to be provided.

To complete the program, children must read a certain amount of hours over the course of the summer. Children ages zero to seven are required to read three hours and children eight and up are required to read a minimum of five. After accomplishing that goal, children receive a prize and a chance to put their name in the grand prize drawing. For every additional hour of reading after, a small prize and another entry are granted.

Finding creative ways to get children motivated is Hosford?s forte. ?To really get them motivated to read, I?m doing a competition,? she said. There is a master chart with each area school listed and every hour the children of that school read is recorded. By July 27 the school with the most hours logged will win the grand prize: choosing a new hair color for Hosford.

In order to make the library a fun space, Hosford has spent time earlier this week decorating. Musical instruments and notes hang from walls, ceilings and shelves. Staying on theme with rocks, are literal rocks that have been hidden around the library. ?We?ve had some kindness rocks and we had a kindness garden for a little while.?

Citizens of Henry County have begun painting positive messages on rocks and dispersing them among public places for people to find. The initiative gave Hosford the idea to adapt the project for their own program. A fellow librarian will be painting a replica of the library pet, Ernie the turtle, onto a rock to be hidden around town.

Keeping children moving and thinking is the groove this summer as the library is slated to bring in performers, conservationists and a zoo exhibit to show children the things they read about.

While library books are encouraged, they are not required to complete the program. Newspapers, magazines and any other articles children read count toward hours for the program. ?I want to promote library materials, but I want to promote literacy and reading throughout the summer as well,? she said. The library also offers audio books and CD kits to promote reading among all ability levels.

Last year the program served nearly 500 students and they hope to reach even more this year. By bringing in performers and encouraging friendly competition, Hosford hopes to create a positive environment and instill a love for reading among the youth. ?The library isn?t just a repository for books. It?s a place to learn and have fun and experience new things,? she says.