• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Summer reading kickoff parties on Friday, Saturday


BUILD A BETTER WORLD is the theme of this year's Summer Reading program at the Woodford County Library. From left are library clerk Anne Van Willigen, holding a trophy that'll be awarded to the school with the highest percentage of students who reach their Summer Reading goal, and youth services librarian Becky Munoz. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

The Woodford County Library will host kickoff parties for its Summer Reading program on Friday from 3 to 6 p.m., at the Midway branch library, and on Saturday, from 2 to 5 p.m., at its main branch in downtown Versailles. This summer's regular and special programs are built around one theme, "Build a Better World," but youth services librarian Becky Munoz said a two-pronged approach will ensure children have opportunities to participate in activities related to being creative and learning how to make something. They will also discover what they can do "right where they are'' to make the world a better place, she added. Throughout the summer, the Woodford County Library will take special programs on the road. A partnership with Versailles-Woodford County Parks and Recreation created a "Lucky Lunchers" program. Lunch will be provided free-of-charge to kids in Clifton Heights and other neighborhoods on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the months of June and July. Each week's program also includes a story time as well as games and crafts for kids, 17 years old and younger. Special programs for families will again be hosted by schools in the community. The weekly programs are being moved to Friday evenings from 6 to 7 so more parents, "especially dads, fathers, can be there," said Munoz. While many activities are geared toward school-age kids and their families, Munoz said, "There are programs for all ages - from babies through senior citizens." "We care about our community," said Munoz, "and we want nothing to stop people from feeling like: This is their library and there's something here for them." Adults in the community will again have an opportunity to attend a luncheon at the First Christian Church Life Center in downtown Versailles. They can also participate in a "Zip Line Challenge" at Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass. "It's not always easy for people to come to us," said John Crawford, assistant library director. "...And it would be impossible for us to replicate what they can do (at Life Adventure Center) ... so that's (one of the reasons) why we take the show on the road. Hopefully, it helps raise our visibility within the community," and helps more people realize that "the library has something for them." Even if children are unable to attend programs being offered by the library this summer, those kids can still set a reading goal and read books at home to ensure they're not losing knowledge and reading skills - commonly known as "the summer slide," Munoz said. Any child who reads for 20 hours this summer can reach their reading goal and be eligible to win multiple rewards. The Woodford County school with the highest percentage of students who turn in their library reading logs will win a trophy and celebrate that accomplishment at an assembly, said Munoz. She described summer as a time when kids have more free hours to read books that interest them, and an opportunity to invite them to library programs where they can learn, but also have a lot of fun. The inspiration for an upcoming teen program, "Happy Trees Landscapes," on Wednesday, July 19, was the teens'. They enjoyed watching artist Bob Ross on public television, and suggested the library offer a landscape painting class for them. A "Best of the Bluegrass End Party" will wrap up this year's Summer Reading program on Friday, July 28, from 6 to 7 p.m. A performance by a local band and door prizes - donated by businesses in the community - are among the highlights of the Woodford County Library's Summer Reading finale (for all ages) at its main branch in downtown Versailles. About 1,400 children and teens participated in last year's Summer Reading Program at the Woodford County Library. Combined with the 700-plus adult participants, more than 2,100 people registered from Summer Reading a year ago, and "we pretty much increase every year," Munoz said. To sign up for Summer Reading, attend an upcoming kickoff party or visit the library. View a schedule of programs this summer by visiting woodfordcountylibrary.com or call 873-5191 for more information.

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