Summer reading program brings grand finale

Published 9:56 am Thursday, July 12, 2018

By SARAH GRAHAM/ For the Advertiser

The Chilton/Clanton Public library hosted a pizza party and drew names for prizes to celebrate its end of summer reading program on June 10.

Every time a child checked out a book, they could enter their name into the drawing.

“So the more times they checked out, the more chances they had to win the grand prize,” Savannah Kitchens, library director, said.

“Libraries rock” T-shirts were available to win, along with a jar of blow pops, sour twists, a McDonald and Taco Bell gift card, various books, and for the grand prize, a Kindle Fire.

The winner of the Kindle Fire was Bentley Walker.

According to children’s librarian, Renee Edwards, Walker was very dedicated and came to almost all of the events the program had to offer throughout the summer.

According to Kitchens, this program is put on to fight “summer slide.”

When children are out of school they loose information and knowledge that they gain during the school year, according to Kitchens.

Reading is important and is lost very quickly if not kept up.

“There are lots of studies that show that children who participate in summer reading programs and actually read for fun over the summer don’t have that learning loss and helps them stay ahead in school,” Kitchens said. “So that’s why we do it.”

The Clanton Library’s goal is to encourage reluctant readers and have fun, free summer activities for families to get involved in.

There is a lot of thought and planning that goes into this program, according to Edwards.

“I’ll start like in January or even December planning,” Edwards said.

There are T-shirts to be ordered, along with posters and flyers for promoting.

Edwards said she drove about 90 miles within the county to hand out flyers and promote this year.

They extended the program from 4 weeks to 6 weeks this year.

Throughout the county, around 1,500 children participated in library programs through Clanton, Jemison and Maplesville, averaging 150 in the Clanton program.

The main activities offered are for kids kindergarten-sixth grade, but there are a couple of events for teens to attend as well.

According to Edwards, she already knows what the theme for next year will be.

Edwards attends the Alabama Public Library Service meeting in Montgomery around January or February that all librarians statewide go to in order to plan and get ideas for this program.