By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
The library’s summer reading program ended with a “bang” – a Thursday afternoon concert featuring the Greensboro band “Big Bang Boom!”
The band had the children in the Keihin Auditorium at Edgecombe Community College raising their hands in the air, jumping to the tune of “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed,” and dancing on one foot during the “Hokey Pokey.”
“I like the kids’ reactions to songs,” said Chuck Folds, bass player for “Big Bang Boom.” The kids’ energy added to the “party” atmosphere of the program, and so did band member Steve Williard’s sporadically racing down the aisles of the auditorium with the kids, guitar in hand.
Folds said many of the songs the band played Thursday afternoon were original, while others were new renditions of old classics.
The parents joined in the fun during a “Hokey Pokey” contest with the kids. The band also played the song “Are We There Yet,” as a reminder to parents about what they might here on their next road trip with their children.
“Sponge Bob Square Pants” was popular with the kids at the program.
“I love ‘Sponge Bob,’” said Isaiah Sharpe, 10. Sharpe came to Thursday’s program with Kendrick Pittman, operator of Anew Creation Youth Help Services.
“I think it’s a great program. The library does a great job,” Pittman said. “They’re keeping their minds focused on education as a whole and letting them know reading is fun. It can take you anywhere.”
“Sponge Bob” was 6-year-old Makkhia Hyman’s favorite song, as well. Her favorite book this summer was about a moose going to school. Hyman received a prize at the program for reading the most books this summer in the 6 and under age category. Dakota Jones won the prize in the 7 to 11 age category, and Raven and Stephen Boney won in the 12 and over category.
All in all, approximately 702 children did 8,418 hours of reading this summer, said Carol Hayes, youth services librarian for the Edgecombe County Memorial Library.
Hyman’s 7-year-old friend Kahrie Flowers’ favorite book was “Fun in the Snow,” about a dog that asks for an ice cream cone and ends up making a mess.
Hyman’s grandmother Maxine Hinton said she reads with her granddaughter “all the time.”
“It helps them to be able to understand sight words,” she said. “When they’re traveling and they see signs, they’ll know what they are.”
Hinton’s 13-year-old nephew Twain White said he thought the musicians at Thursday’s party “played well.” He participates in the summer reading program because he loves to read.
“I like chapter books – ‘The Hardy Boys’…the spies and the detectives,” said White.
This is the third year that Hayes has invited “Big Bang Boom!” to perform at the wrap-up party for the summer reading program. About 376 children attended the party, an increase from last year. The party was one of 102 programs offered during this year’s summer reading program.