By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Children are out of school for the summer, but there is plenty to keep the kiddos occupied during those hot, hazy days.
One of those offerings is the summer reading program — “Dig into Reading” — at the Edgecombe County Memorial Library. The program is free and open to children of all ages.
The summer reading program kicks off at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the McIntyre Auditorium at Edgecombe Community College. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. “Mad Science” will be the performer at the program.
“They do science projects and get the kids up there and have them help,” said Carol Hayes, youth services librarian. “It’s a real upbeat program.”
The program will center on the theme “Dig into Reading,” and will incorporate volcanoes, Hayes said. Another highlight of summer reading is a June 28 program at 9:30 a.m. in the McIntyre Auditorium featuring Native American performer Autumn Morningstar.
“She’s an illusionist, musician, magician, storyteller,” Hayes said. “I’m excited about that one.”
While the programs are designed to keep children engaged and make reading fun, the main goal of the summer reading program is to keep the children’s reading levels up between the school years.
“We don’t want them to lose their knowledge during the summer,” Hayes said. Each child will receive a “timed reading record” to return to the Tarboro or Pinetops Branch Library. The goal is for each child to read 35 hours. Top readers in each age category will receive a prize at the end of the summer. Hayes had ordered a new shipment of library books to offer “something for everybody,” from “easy readers” for beginning readers to series books “Fancy Nancy” and “Ladybug Girl” for the girls to sports biographies and books offering instructions on building structures with Legos for boys.
The summer reading program includes a story time for children at 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday at the Tarboro branch and at 10:30 every Wednesday at the Pinetops branch. Last year, 725 children signed up for the summer reading program. This year, Hayes would like to see between 750 and 800 children sign up.
The “dig into reading” theme lends itself to a variety of programs, from a “burrowers” story time about animals that dig into the earth to a program on fossils at the historic Blount-Bridgers House to a program on root vegetables and nutrition. A trip to the movies is also in store for children in the summer reading program. The Parkhill Cinema will offer a special showing of “Monster’s University” on July 3 at 9:30 a.m.
The summer reading program will end with a wrap-up party the afternoon of Aug. 1 featuring a musical performance by the Greensboro band “Big Bang Boom.”
To sign up for the summer reading program, visit the Edgecombe County Memorial Library at 909 Main St. in Tarboro, or the Pinetops Branch Library at 201 S. First St. in Pinetops. The library is also asking for adult and teen volunteers for the summer reading program.
For more information, visit www.edgecombelibrary.org.