by Carol Rittscher
We have truly been on a wild trail ride at the library! For the last six weeks, young people participating in "Discover New Trails @ Your Library" have learned about Lewis and Clark, Native Americans, Fur Trappers and Traders, Pioneers, Cowboys, Gold Rushers, and Railroad Builders. What an exciting time we've had!
A total of 335 children were enrolled. In addition, twenty middle schoolers and high schoolers participated in "Get Lost @ Your Library", our teen reading program.
Participants kept track of hours read. A total of 4,492.5 hours were turned in, with 149 young people earning summer reading tee shirts by reaching individual reading goals. These youngsters should certainly be proud of their accomplishments.
Throughout summer reading, the library offered special programs that anyone could attend. These programs included Kiowa native James Coverdale of Perryton, Texas, who brought many interesting artifacts to share.
Scout Master Bill Meggenberg from Meade did a captivating re-enactment of mountain man Hugh Glass.
Guymon's Pioneer Day Queen Norlean Peterson presented interesting stories of life during pioneer days, and Penny Sobba came over from the H.U.G.S. Program with a group of youngsters to give a square dance demonstration.
Dodge City Marshal Allen Bailey was with us to add some cowboy flavor through songs, stories, and rope tricks. The Senior Center's own Rhythmaires drew in a large crowd for their afternoon concert which included a little dancing. Former mayor Jack Cooley got the opportunity to be selected from the audience to participate in a polka.
Folks, if you missed out on these great programs, you really missed something. We are so fortunate to have talented and informed presenters very close by that are willing to come and share with us. They certainly helped enhance our program.
A special thank you to the local businesses that willingly donated items to make our summer program a success.
Summer Reading '04 is nearly wrapped up. Our final program, at which the young people will receive their certificates and shirts, will take place on Monday, August 16. We will have one more glimpse of life in the 1800's as we welcome Kirk Shapland in a re-enactment of Buffalo Bill Cody. Shapland will be bringing along a replica of Cody's camp as well. This should be an interesting presentation and a great finale to "Discover New Trails @ Your Library. As with our other special programs, this one is also open to the public. We'll be set up on our lawn, so don't just drive by, stop by!
Summer Reading is the largest undertaking for young people at our library, but we do have other activities. We offer Preschool Storytime for little ones ages three to five and Lapsit Storytime for under age three children during the school year. The fall schedule for each group should be available by the end of August and will be publicized in all the usual places, including our web site. Special programs throughout the year will be announced. One of those in the planning stages is a return of the Children's Healthy Fun Fair.
There has been a great deal of interest in our pre-literacy kits, designed to assist parents in working with their preschoolers on skills necessary for starting school. The kits, which are housed at both Washington Resource Center and the library, have been quite popular.
Older children will want to check out the display in the entry to the Children's Library which features a listing of the William Allen White nominee books for 2004-2005 in both the 3rd through 5th grade and 6th through 8th grade groups and several of the titles there with easy access for check out.
Any young person who reads two or more books from either list is entitled to vote for the winner, which will be announced in April 2005. This is a great way for children to see that their opinions do matter as they take part in deciding the winners. Plus, they might be asked to write a review of their favorite book for the newspaper during Children's Book Week. Why not encourage your 3rd through 8th grade children to read some of these wonderful titles.
Whatever you read, make sure you take some time for reading this summer.
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