OLEAN — Are you ready for a summer filled with joy and fun? You’re in luck, because the annual summer reading program at Olean Public Library is about to begin.
This year, the program will run from July 11 to August 11. 11. It is open to community members of all ages; all you have to do is sign up to take part in reading challenges and you’ll be eligible for a variety of exciting prizes. Entertaining educational programs will also be offered throughout the month of the program.
Children’s programs will include Makin’ Waves Kids Club, Investigation Stations, Oceans of Stories, Lobster Tails Cooking Club and Guppy Tails Book Club.
There will also be special events each week, including the I Love To Read magic show, The Little Mermaid puppet show, circus arts, a beach party and more.
The summer reading program isn’t just about having fun, although that’s a big part of it. For children, the threat of the “summer slide” in reading skills is very real. During the summer months, students risk losing 2-3 months of reading skills if they do not actively participate in reading activities.
A fun and proven way to combat this slippage is to participate in the summer reading program. The program is engaging, informative and reminds children that READING IS FUN!
Children who enroll in the program read on their own or can have someone else read to them. They keep track of their reading and, in return, earn Kid Cash. The money can be used to buy books, DVDs and all sorts of cool prizes. Read enough and get an honor book placed in the library in your name.
The Summer Kick Off Carnival will take place on Saturday, June 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be carnival games, balloon twists, face painting and the incredible magic of Magic Dave Jeffers.
Teenagers can also participate in the summer reading program. Many activities will be offered and many prizes to be won. Teens will earn points based on hours spent reading and participating in library activities.
Come to a program? Indicate! Watch a DVD borrowed from the Library? Indicate! Post about the summer reading program on Instagram and tag them @oleanlibrary_teens? Indicate!
Teens who earn points will be entered into a raffle at the end of the summer for a big prize.
Teens who want to help plan future teen programs at the library are encouraged to attend one of the Olean Teen Advisory Board (OTAB) meetings. This is where they percolate all their great ideas.
Needless to say, the library also has something planned for its adult patrons. Upon registration, adults receive a small entry prize, and each book read earns an entry to win the grand prize.
Families are invited to attend the weekly Family Movie Afternoon every Friday at 3 p.m. in the Gallery. They’ll be showing films that align with the Oceans of Possibilities summer reading theme, so expect to be surprised and entertained. Movies also include freshly made popcorn.
Programming of the Summer Reading Program is made possible through the generous sponsorship of the Friends of Olean Public Library. They also receive financial support for arts and crafts programs from the Frances Bean O’Connell Arts Endowment and the New York State Love Your Library Fund. They are sincerely grateful for this help, which allows them to offer excellent programming to the community.
The library is a great place to spend the summer. Pop in and check out the Friends of the Library book sale, sign up for a class, enjoy the artists and presenters, or borrow gear (they have more than just books).
(Michelle La Voie is executive director of the Olean Public Library.)