Library nurturing minds and bodies in summer reading program
By Jim Turner

Posted on June 10, 2014 8:24 PM

Both young minds and young bodies are being nurtured and nourished through Logan County Public Library in this year’s Summer Reading Program conducted by Logan County Public Library.

Once again this summer for the third straight year, the library is serving as the location for free lunches for youngsters 18 and under. This year, though, staff members are not only serving lunches at the library itself but also at a second location. They also are presenting educational-but-fun programs to help the children retain what they learned during the school year while retaining or raising the reading level they had reached at the end of the recently completed school year.

The second site is the Russellville Housing Authority building on Hicks Street on the other side of town from the new library. Seven programs involving guest presenters are planned at the off-site, but Children’s Services Coordinator Carole Ann Faulkner says staff members will present a program each day, Mondays through Fridays, at 10:30 a.m. leading up to free meal time from 11:30-1:30. No proof of income is necessary. Any youngster 18 and under is welcome to share in the meal.

This will continue at both locations every weekday through the end of July. “These two months are almost exactly how long they will be out of school,” Faulkner notes.

Long-time library staff member Beverly Terry, who successfully applied for the grant to fund the program, is leading three young staff members who are presenting the 10:30 programs at both locations. Assisting her are Ariel Wheeler, Ashley Garrie and Taylor Tinsley.

Community Action of Southern Kentucky handles the food distribution.

The grant for the reading programs to accompany the food distribution came from “Fueling the Mind,” a partnership between the state libraries and the Kentucky Department of Education. Public libraries that serve as or provide outreach to feeding sites in the USDA’s Summer Food Service program were chosen for funding to expand their summer reading programs.

Over 20,000 youngsters participated in the program last year. Public libraries that participated in the Fueling the Mind program last year saw an average of 17 percent increase in their Summer Reading participation over 2012. They also extended their program lengths by 32 percent and offered 121percent more programs than they would have without the grant.

It’s clear that these two months are full of learning activities as well as food for participants at Logan County Public Library.

Special programs at the Housing Authority are scheduled as follows: Sciences Creates Art June 12; Animal Tales: Animal Science, 2 p.m. June 20; Science Creates Art, June 26; Adventure Science Center: Flower Dissection, June 30; Living Arts 7 Science: Sound of Silence, July 7; Science Creates Art, July 17; and Mr. Bond the Science Guy, July 22. Teresa Snorton will lead the Science Creates Art segments.

The Summer Reading Program, which follows the national science-based theme of “Fizz, Boom, Read,” kicked off Friday featuring ‘Stuntology’ expert Sam Bartlett. Faulkner says 227 attended the morning program and another 190 that afternoon. Average attendance was about 65 last summer, although one session drew about 300 people in the old building, Faulkner notes.

“We’re seeing a lot of people using the new library, several new faces who didn’t come to the old building,” she says. “Lots of kids and families walk here from Chapman and Longview subdivisions. There are also many families who walk from housing areas on Johnson Street and other nearby areas. We hope people in cars will be careful to watch out for pedestrians on Armory Drive. Sometimes it seems more like a walkway with cars on it..”

Several programs will be repeated often during the next two months. They include Story Laboratory programs seven Tuesdays, Experimental Carole Ann on eight straight Thursdays featuring Faulkner, and “I’m Too Good for Drugs” programs presented by Melody Richards of Community Action on eight straight Wednesdays at noon.

Madcap Puppets will be at the library for two presentations on Friday, June 27 about a Mark Twain book. Audience participation adds to the fun. Their character Silas B. Thistlewig will there for the Summer Reading Finale on Friday, July 25 at both 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

A character known as Darshwood the Conjurer will make a presentation on hypnosis on Thursday evening, July 10. This one is geared toward older children and adults. Then the next day, he will do magic tricks for a younger audience twice.

Also scheduled are sessions from Donnie and Polly Porter’s Logan County Gymnastics, Mark Wood’s Magic of Science, and a session on Buggy Kentucky.

Those involved in the Summer Reading Program are encouraged to keep Reading Logs as a record of what they’ve read. If they bring them to the library at specified times, they will be eligible for prizes.

To see a complete list of activities in the Summer Reading program along with times and places, see the Crabtree Community Calendar on The LoJo, brought to you by Crabtree Furniture.


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