• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Summer Reading begins June 1 with kickoff party

BATMAN will make an appearance at Summer Reading kickoff parties on Friday, June 1, at the Woodford County Library in Versailles and Midway Branch Library. (Photo submitted)

Summer Reading’s “Libraries Rock!” theme will remind people with different interests that public libraries are a place where anyone “can have an exciting, fun time,” says Becky Munoz, youth services librarian at the Woodford County Library.

While some summer programs will include music, she says Summer Reading focuses on experiences that excite library patrons of all ages.

Kids who love and get excited about big trucks will have a chance to “Touch a Truck” at Northside Elementary School on Thursday, June 14.

“To them,” says Munoz, “trucks rock.

“To be able to climb into the cab, honk the horn is like the thrill.”

A Kentucky Reptile Zoo program on Friday, July 6, will offer an opportunity to see live lizards and snakes. Teens can participate in a Hip-Hop Dance Class on Thursday, July 5. Adults can attend a Summer Reading Luncheon on Friday, June 8, at the First Christian Church Life Center and see a Flamenco Dance demonstration.

“We’re having a variety of programs to appeal to many different people – and hopefully there’ll be something we have that you think is the coolest,” says Munoz. Programs will also educate attendees about a variety of topics and interests.

“It is learning for the whole family,” says Munoz. “Adults also enjoy coming to library programs and learning about things they may not have known before.” She cites Friday Coffee Club’s conversations with guests from various backgrounds and experiences as one example.

Besides ongoing programs throughout the summer, kids of all ages can come and eat for free during Lunch Bunch, from noon to 1 p.m. weekdays, through a new partnership with Woodford County Public Schools and its federally-funded summer feeding program. Adult lunches are $3 and “it is open for anybody of all income levels,” says Munoz.

The Woodford County Library will partner with a variety of local organizations and government agencies this summer, including Woodford Theatre, for a musical showcase on Thursday, June 28.

By encouraging kids of all ages to read this summer, Munoz and assistant youth services librarian Bookie Wilson hope to prevent the summer slide. “It is a documented phenomena that if kids don’t read over the summer,” says Wilson, “they can lose up to 30 percent of their (reading) proficiency. We don’t want children … (to) start the next grade behind. So as children read – even a little bit – every day, it keeps them level or it improves their reading level as they go into the next grade.”

Children, who turn in reading logs with at least 12 hours of reading (whatever books they enjoy) this summer, will receive a “Readers are Leaders” medal and a ticket to a pool party at Falling Springs on Saturday, July 21. Also, the school with the highest percentage of students who turn in completed reading logs will receive a trophy and an assembly featuring a fun, entertaining show for kids.

If children are too young to read, Wilson and Munoz say they can listen to an audio book or their parents can read to them. And they say children are never too old to listen to a story.

“It enhances the book. It makes it a family event. And it’s something you can share with your child,” says Munoz.

Summer Reading begins at the Woodford County Library and its Midway Branch Library with a kickoff party, from 3 to 7 p.m., Friday, June 1. Attendees at both locations will have an opportunity to meet Batman (3:30 to 5 in Midway and 5:30 to 7 in Versailles) and sign up for Summer Reading. “Seeing Batman is an exciting, fun time for thousands of kids,” says Munoz, again alluding to this summer’s “Libraries Rock!” theme.

Adults, teens and children can sign up for Summer Reading at the kickoff party or at either library branch. For additional information and a calendar of summer programs, visit woodfordcountylibrary.com.

Last summer, Munoz says the Woodford County Library had more adults – over 700 – sign up for Summer Reading than ever before. Over 1,300 kids and over 300 teens also signed up last year, she adds.

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