Readers welcome first day of summer reading
— The start of June marked the start of the summer reading season, and Cecil County Public Library patrons were more than happy to start with picking up bundles of books.
As librarians worked on finalizing decorations in the children’s room of the Elkton Central Library Wednesday afternoon, a slow but steady stream of families came in to checkout books and pick up reading logs.
About 20 readers signed up Wednesday at Elkton Central Library, said Rachel Wright, children’s services manager. This included a mix of families and even a group from a daycare.
to start,” Wright said, adding patrons start asking when they can sign up starting in May.
For the summer, Wright said ghost stories like those by Mary Downing Hahn are often popular. She said young readers may also be interested in a new book from the author of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Rick Riordan, and the next book in the Disney Descendants series.
The Cecil County Public Library’s summer reading program — this year themed “On your mark, get set, READ!” — is open to children, teens and adults. Readers can sign up throughout the summer at any county library branch or the library’s website. The program ends Aug. 13 when participants turn in reading logs for a chance to win prizes, which range from a shopping gift card for adults to a scooter or Orioles tickets for kids. In 2015, the library counted more than 7,100 summer reading participants.
Although Wednesday was the official start of summer reading, each county library branch will host a summer reading kickoff party during the day this Saturday. Each branch will have refreshments and programming to welcome the summer reading season. The interactive education group Sciencetellers will visit the Perryville Branch Library from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Elkton Central from 2 to 3 p.m. Both events require pre-registration, but the main kickoff events do not.
In the summer, the Keathley family visits the library at least once a week, mom Krista Keathley said. On Wednesday, she brought 5-year-old twins Carrie and Melina to checkout books and movies at Elkton Central.
“Their grandma was a librarian,” Keathley said, adding favorites for her children include the Elephant and Piggie series and anything by Dr. Seuss.
Dr. Seuss is also a favorite of the Watson children. Also on Wednesday, Detalia Watson brought her children, students at Thompson Estates Elementary, to sign up for summer reading.
“We read every night,” Watson said.
She said it was the first time she signed herself up, and before didn’t know about the adult summer reading program. Adults can get a log that will track every five books they read — audiobooks and Gale Online Courses count too. Similar to the children and teen’s program, adults can earn one prize entry for every five books or courses completed.
And the very young can also participate.
Newborns to rising fifthgraders can track how much they read (or listen to) in 15 minute increments, with reading logs tracking four hours total.
While signing up her 12-year-old daughter, a student at Tri-State Christian Academy, Laura Stringer also got a reading log for her 11-month-old son. Favorites of her daughter, who is in the teen reading program and must track also 15 minutes of reading but for a total of six hours, include the Goosebumps and Baby-Sitter Club series. Stringer said the family visits the library a few times a month for books or programming.
“We need more programs like this for kids and families,” Stringer said.
This summer, special programming for teens includes a teen start-up business contest, art club, board game gatherings and showings of sci-fi and fantasy movies. Events for young children, which often require the attendance of a caregiver, include a visit from a therapy dog, “Lego-lympics” and arts and crafts afternoons.
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A pet waste station located near the entrance of Footlog Park.