Library’s summer reading program helps the kids and the community
For the past seven weeks, kids across the county participating in the Stillwater County Library Summer Reading Program have not only read books, but they have taken some time out of their summer to make the world a better place.
Each week, throughout most of June and July, kids from Absarokee, Columbus, Park City, Rapelje, and Reed Point participated in activities based on the program’s nationwide theme: Build a Better World.
The first week, participants drew pictures and wrote letters to kids in Samoa. The next week, Montana PBS brought Clifford the Big Red Dog to Columbus. During the third week, the kids walked around their town, cleaning up garbage along the way.
The first week of July brought a fun project – creating bird feeders out of recycled two-liter bottles and hanging them around town. Week five’s activity was an outdoor scavenger hunt around town. During the July 19 finale, participants had the opportunity to win prizes.
In addition to the three library staff members and numerous adult volunteers who put in time to make the program a success, a group of teenagers volunteered their time to mentor the younger children.
According to Shawna Jackson, the program’s coordinator, each week the cities combined for an average of more than 50 kids participating. Jackson visited each town every week to bring the program across the county.
In Columbus, several of the local daycares made trips to the library to participate in the different activities.
Throughout the program, the library’s goal was to have participants read three times a week, for 20 minutes each time – no easy feat in the summer.