SIKESTON -- As summer gets under way, several other public libraries are offering reading programs for area youngsters. The New Madrid County Library is sponsoring a four-week summer reading program for boys and girls ages 6-12 beginning July 6 and ending July 30.
"What the kids enjoy is the fact that we're not quiet in the library," said program coordinator Melissa Pullum. "We're usually loud, but the activities do encourage overall reading and family time."
This year's theme as presented by Pullum is "Discover New Trails @ Your Library." A series of activities is planned for the summer reading program.
"The first week of the program we'll be discovering western trails," Pullum noted. "We'll be reading about cattle brands and learning how to read the brandings. We'll also look at local Indian artifacts from the private collection of Kelly Kellams of Portageville."
During the second week, children will "Discover Trails Down Under" and will be going on a "roo" hunt in Australia. Children will play games and learn about "Aussie" vocabulary and have a geography lesson on continents, Pullum said.
Through the third week boys and girls will take a dive and "Discover Deep Sea Trails." They will see just how big a whale's tail is by using string and chalk to demonstrate the actual length of the whale's tail, Pullum explained. Children will also do starfish and shell rubbings.
In the final week of New Madrid County's reading program, students will "Discover Out of this World Trails." They'll be going into space and have fun with space jokes while making balloon rockets.
"Parents seem to like that it gives their child something to do every week during the summer, and it does encourage their reading," Pullum said. "We're not the boring, frumpy library. We are exciting and do loud, fun stuff."
The schedule of activities is as follows:
Tuesday (July 6, 13, 20 and 27): 1 p.m. Morehouse Service Center and 3 p.m. Matthews Service Center
Thursday (July 8, 15, 22 and 29): 1 p.m. New Madrid Branch and 3 p.m. Portageville Branch
Friday (July 9, 16, 23 and 30): 1 Parma Service Center and 3 p.m. Gideon Branch
Even if a child for some reason cannot attend the programs, he or she can still participate in the summer reading program by signing up at any of the branches or service centers during the week prior to July 6. The child must check out and read eight books from the library during the four-week period.
All children who finish the program will receive a certificate and their choice of a recycled library book. Weekly prizes will be given away. Parents are also welcome to attend.
At the Mississippi County Public Library will conduct a story hour at 10 a.m. and a visit by a magician at 2 p.m. each Wednesday beginning June 30 and ending July 28.
For further information, parents should call their local library.