Library Provides a Summer Journey of Imagination & Fun

Submitted by:
Emma Mayer

2012 North-West Regional Library Summer Reading Program
With this year’s Summer Reading Program theme being “Imagine”, the library was full of just that – imagination!

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About 92 children in total from Swan River and Benito registered for the library’s annual programming sponsored by the TD bank, with 64 kids participating in Swan River and 28 kids in Benito. Children came to the library once or twice a week (depending on their grade level) for stories, crafts, snacks, contests, games, and most importantly, fun! The program ran from July 3rd until August 9th in Swan River and from July 6th to August 10th in Benito. Programming was available for Preschoolers starting at age three up to children completing Grade 3, although any enthusiastic older students were always welcome!

This year’s program theme saw the children taking fantastical trips, meeting strange and amazing creatures, casting magical spells, solving mysteries and even hunting for dragons, all in the comfort of their local library. Various weekly themes were devised to suit the grand theme of “Imagine”, including “Dragons”, “Epic Tales”, “Once Upon a Time”, “Magic”, “Olympics”, “Imagine You’re an Animal” and more! Our weekly stories, games and crafts were picked to suit the theme and some of the children’s’ favourites included the stories Silvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig and a new addition to our library collection, Olympig by Victoria Jamieson. As for crafts and games, the kids particularly loved playing Hot Beach Ball and creating painted rock creatures with googly eyes!

As always, the program focused on getting the children reading throughout the summer months. Children received reading logs and reading passports and they really enjoyed recording the books they read. The children received passport stamps and prizes according to the number of books read and also had a chance to win larger prizes in our Top Reader contests, which were awarded to the two children who read the most in each of the classes.

This year, there was a large inter generational component to the Summer Reading Program and many community members were invited as guests to read stories, lead activities and join in on the fun. Community readers included Nancy Yakielashek and bookstore owner Dale Wiebach. Other special guests included Evelyn Friesen who led SunSense workshops with the kids, Marni Zamzow who shared her fantastic clown display and Kathleen Freed, who helped lead dragon hunts at the Legion Park for our K&1 class and Grade 2&3 class final parties. Several local volunteer also helped out with the Preschool and with the K&1 class on a regular basis, which was much appreciated!

For those of you sad to see the Summer Reading Program come to an end, have no fear! Children’s programming will continue at the library throughout the year, so be sure to sign up for Story Time and Youth Programs, which promise to be tons of fun! I hope to see you all again next year for another fun, reading-filled and action-packed Summer Reading Program!