AMHERST – Books, prizes, activities and robots. There’s lots happening for kids at the library this summer.
The summer reading club held a kickoff event Tuesday morning at the Four Fathers Memorial Library in Amherst.
“So far we’ve got 104 kids signed up in a week,” said Youth Service Librarian Chantelle Taylor.
Taylor and colleague Lisa Strathearn were manning a table at the entrance to the library. Kids waited turns to get book reading passports sponsored by TD Bank reviewed. Prizes were awarded for hours spent reading, as well as ballots for more prizes that will be given at the end of the summer.
“I like it because it keeps him reading all summer,” said Tara Sprague.
Sign up was just last week and already her son, Justin, has reached the four-hour mark (kids sign up to complete 12 or 24 hours over the summer).
The lad said he likes the program because he gets prizes. His mother said he’s reading more than he would without the incentives.
Tables in the library featured activities such as marshmallow-toothpick constructing, colouring and face painting. The weekly program for kids Primary to Grade 6 typically takes place Thursday morning, but Taylor said it was scheduled for Tuesday this week in case people had plans for the upcoming Canada Day long weekend.
The summer schedule has events ranging from puppet making to a Harry Potter party, and an outdoor “amazing race” to a game show “extravaganza”.
A Lego robotics program is part of the summer’s offering. The first group begins July 8 and is fully subscribed, but Taylor said there’s still room in a second session taking place in August. The library has two Lego Mindstorms NXT2 kits, plus expansions, which they’ll be touring through branches in the county.
The youth services librarian said initial numbers are up this year for the reading program, which has been a staple of youth programming at the library for a while.
“It’s 10-plus years, anyway,” she guessed.
She hasn’t received much feedback yet from parents, but indicated the rapid sign up of so many kids was a good sign.