Library summer reading program: Enjoy prizes, crafts, music and storytime with state senator and other fun speakers

This fun paper-chain octopus is hanging out at the Ozark County Volunteer Library, located at Elm and Second Streets in Gainesville, in preparation for the library’s upcoming children’s summer reading program that starts next week and runs through July 26. The program features an ‘oceans of possibilities’ theme, and a story time and a craft project session is held each Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. for children who wish to participate.

Among the presenters during the Ozark County Volunteer Library’s free kids summer reading program will be Missouri State Senator Karla Eslinger, who will visit the library during on of its 10:30 a.m. Tuesday sessions to read the book, “You Can, Too!” to reading program participants.

Another speaker scheduled to participate in the free kids summer reading program is Missouri Department of Conservation’s Sam Stewart, a conservation educator for the state organization.

The Ozark County Volunteer Library in Gainesville is hosting a free summer reading program for children from June 14 to July 26. 

This year’s national theme for reading programs is “oceans of possibilities,” which the library has adopted. But in Ozark County it’s with a twist - the Gainesville program will also gear the program toward less exotic, local waterways: the Ozarks famed rivers and lakes. 

“The program offers incentives and prizes to keep children reading over the summer,” said Aletta Moore, library volunteer. “There will also be weekly presentations, a story hour and craft activities each Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in the library’s basement throughout the program time.”

Moore says that children of all ages are welcome to participate, but parents should be advised that the activities are geared more toward elementary school-aged students than teens.

“We have been lucky to secure a variety of presenters for this summer including Sam Stewart from the Missouri Department of Conservation; Suzanne Meeks and friends, including Luther Hampton, who are providing musical entertainment; Senator Karla Eslinger who will be reading from her book, You Can, Too!; and [a representative from] Rockbridge Trout and Game Ranch,” Moore said. “Associated story hours will include themes such as rivers, pirates, following your dreams, fishing, oceans and sharks. Our craft activities will also focus on fish, sea creatures, boats and pirates.”    

Children can register by stopping by the library during regular hours of 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday or 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday. Registration can also be completed by calling Aletta Moore at 713-907-6622. Children must be registered to qualify for incentives and prizes. 

Children who are registered with receive a printed ocean-themed reading log, which participants will fill in as they complete reading hours throughout the summer program period. 

Goals for participating children are:

• Preschool: 10 hours of reading (or being read to)

• First through sixth grade: 15 hours of reading

• Older students welcome: goals set at librarian’s discretion

Organizers say children should start tracking reading on June 14 and will continue the reading log until they turn it in on July 26. Children can earn incentives by reading, which is recorded in units of hours read and be entered into drawings for the grand prizes at the end of the program. 

The 10:30 a.m. Tuesday story time is open for children age 4 and up. Children should have a supervising adult present during the program. 

Organizers say children do not have to be present at all the Tuesday gatherings to be involved in the program, and those who are attending local summer school sessions are welcome to start the challenge and participate in the Tuesday sessions when they’re able after summer school has ended. 

A special end-of-program celebration will be held Tuesday, July 26, at the library with prizes, rewards and presentations of certificates during a big party.

For more information, stop by the library during regular hours of 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays and 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, or call during open hours at 417-679-4442 or summer reading program organizer Aletta Moore at 713-907-6622. The library is closed on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sunday. 

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423