Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Summer reading program starts May 22


It’s time for young bookworms to reclaim their summer reading nooks and return to favorite stories they put down during the school year.

The Haines Public Library’s Summer Reading Program kicks off at 11 a.m. Friday, May 22. The theme this year is, “Every Hero Has a Story.”

The kick-off event will feature a puppet show, fairy tale play, a “flashy and fun” science experiment, Native Youth Olympic Games demonstrations and other activities. Fireman Al Badgley also will share some of his personal hero stories.

The Chilkat Valley Community Foundation has donated 316 books to give away at the kick-off.

The main draw for the program’s launch event, though, is that it marks the time children can pick up their official reading logs for the 10-week program, said youth services coordinator Holly Davis.

“They just can’t help themselves,” Davis said of the children who show up for the event. “On Friday as soon as they get the official reading log, they just get right to work.”

For every five books or chapters read, a reader gets to pick a prize from the program’s treasure chest. Or, in lieu of a prize, a reader can donate $5 to a hungry child through Samaritan’s Purse, an option that has taken off since being introduced two years ago, Davis said.

For every 10 books or chapters, a reader can choose a book from the Golden Book Box, which includes new and gently used books. For every 50 books or chapters, a reader gets to pick a special prize from the “top shelf” in the children’s reading room.

Since Davis came to work at the library in 2000, the program has grown from 30 participants to more than 200.

The 10-week program, which runs May 22 to Aug. 5, has weekly activities on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Most of the activities are old favorites (Detective Time, Nature Walkers, Ukulele Jam, Amateur Magicians), but Hero Time Read-a-Loud is a new addition for this year.

Every Monday at 3 p.m., Davis will read stories about heroes, big and small. Historical hero stories might include Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi. “Others might be less well-known stories, like about kids who have been heroes in their own communities,” she said.

Readers are encouraged to wear their favorite hero costumes to the reading program’s kick-off event, Davis said. “When we think about people who act heroically, it makes us more likely to reach out and do good and be heroes in our own small way. So hopefully we will inspire some kids this summer.”

For more information or to donate small items for the treasure chest, contact Davis at 766-2545.


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