Summer reading activities underway at Monroe library

Photo Provided The Monroe County District Library in Woodsfield has kicked off the summer reading program with ocean-themed activities and prizes for young readers. They gather for activities in the Monroe Theatre.

WOODSFIELD — Summer reading programs are taking place at the Monroe County District Library, with fun and educational activities scheduled through the warm summer months.

“Right now we do have our summer reading program. It will continue through July 22, it officially started June 13,” librarian Susan Smith said. She said children are enjoying reading and activities at a special venue.

“We’re actually having our activities at the Monroe Theatre because of the additional space, and they work with us on allowing us to use that additional space,” she said. “They seem to be very interested in it. They seem to be interested in enjoying the programs as well. So far we’ve had two. The first one was a magician and then this week, from Oglebay Institute Schrader Center, they came down and … did a program on ocean animals.”

Smith said this Monday, they will be employing the theatre’s screen to watch a movie about the ocean and water.

“The theme for the summer reading program this year is Oceans of Possibiltiy, so there’ll be a couple of short films shown regarding oceans and things like that,” she said.

Smith said the age range for children to participate is birth through sixth grade.

“We allow the little, little ones who are just getting started and interested in books, and then through sixth grade, so if they just completed sixth grade in May, then they’re eligible to do the summer reading program this year,” she said.

Smith said the children’s response has been enthusiastic so far.

“We’ve had over 130, I think, sign up to be part of the program. They have to read 10 books during the six weeks at their reading level. Different grade levels are obviously going to be allowed to read different materials, and then those who are kindergarten or below, their parents will have to read to them,” she said.

“If they complete their 10 books and record those on a reading record we keep here, if they complete the program and we’ll apply those, and on July 22 we’ll be having an ice cream party when an ice cream store comes to Woodsfield,” she said.

Other prizes will also be given.

“(The Center of Science and Industry) has been generous enough to provide for public libraries that do requests, with a learning lunchbox and last we were able to get 50 of those. This year we were able to get even more,” she said. Sometimes different prizes are given to children in different age categories.

“Typically, the last few years we have found that kids enjoyed the cash prizes the most, so that’s probably what we will be doing again this year. We haven’t set a limit on those yet. There’ll be a grand prize for each age category and individual prizes for everybody who completes this program.” she said. “They get entered in for those grand prizes by coming to our activity each time or just completing the program.”

The books read are the child’s choice.

Smith said there will be no activities the week following July 4. On July 11, Broken Timber Outdoor Education Center based in the Hannibal area along Ohio 7 will speak to the children about local ponds, waterways, fishing and other watery topics.

On July 18 another educational presenter is scheduled.

“We have an oceanographer coming who comes out of Maryland, and he will be here to talk about his work and some different things that he is doing as far as in the oceans and possibly storms in the ocean, those types of things,” Smith said.

She added that a party will then be held July 22.

Smith said there are advantages to holding events at the theatre following the COVID-19 pandemic and many attendant fears.

“The capacity is about 300, and we’re typically seeing both children and adults, somewhere from 125 to 150, so there is plenty of space to spread out for the program,” she said. “Any books that are being brought in by library patrons are being sanitized, so we’re still following those precautions because we know the virus is still out there, and we’re trying to do our best to keep it from spreading.”

The library is located at 96 Home Ave, Woodsfield.


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