One of the Crawfordsville District Public Library’s most popular features is its summer reading program for children.
This year’s outing, “America: Reading Coast to Coast,” will begin with sign-ups May 31. The program will run through July 12.
The premise of the program is that during that seven-week span, children read as much as they can to earn prizes.
“They keep track on a map we have, and then bring them in for prizes,” said Janella Nunan, who works in the children’s department at the library. “They can read whatever they want as long as it’s at their grade level.”
All reading points must be turned in at the library by 6 p.m. July 12.
Drop-in craft sessions to go along with the summer reading program theme will be offered each Monday from June 5 to July 5. Crafts will include a Bald Eagle, patriotic bug magnet, patriotic wand, Uncle Sam hat, patriotic streamers and patriotic foil frames.
Drop-in story times will be offered at 10 a.m. every Thursday throughout the summer.
Keeping children’s activities new and fresh at the library is the responsibility of Karen Record, who is in charge of children’s programming. Regular weekly activities are held, as are intermittent special activities such as Saturday’s seventh annual Blossoms and Brunch event.
“It’s kind of like a tea for girls, and they can bring a special woman in their lives,” Record said.
Blossoms and Brunch is hosted by library staff member Linda Brady. The event features projects and snacks, and participants dress up in tea party attire.
Seating for the popular event, which is open to girls 6 and older, is limited to 18 girls and their guests. As of Wednesday, only one spot remained.
“The girls like to dress up, and they like being pampered for the day,” Record said. “It makes them feel special, and I think the adults that come with them enjoy it just as much.”
The Blossoms and Brunch program is the only one at the library that is gender-specific.
“We have the block parties where the children build things with Legos, and we thought that one would be something more for boys,” Record said. “But as it turned out, just as many girls come as boys.”
The same thing happened with a duct tape workshop, Record said.
More than 600 children participated in last year’s summer reading program.
“This past year, there were more boys than girls in the reading program,” Record said.
Other special library programs planned for the summer include Dr. Insecta’s Bug Lab at 6:45 p.m. June 16, Block Parties at 9:30 a.m. June 4 and July 2, Donuts with Dad at 10 a.m. June 18, a juggling demonstration and workshop at 6:45 p.m. July 12
Record finds developing children’s programs at the library fulfilling.
“It’s fun to be with the kids and see how excited they get about things,” she said.