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News Community Macon County Librarian willing to ‘kiss a frog’ to get kids reading this summer

Macon County Librarian willing to ‘kiss a frog’ to get kids reading this summer

With school being out and nothing to do all day, it is easy for little ones to catch a case of the summer time blues. The Macon County Public Library is here to help with its summer reading program.

The “Fizz, Boom, READ” summer reading program at the Macon County Public Library will develop the hidden scientist in everyone by mixing together colorful storytimes, explosive programs, and out-of-this-world activities.

Cristen Dando, Youth Services Supervisor with the Macon County Public Library has worked with library staff to create the perfect reading series to spice up a child’s summer.

Children gather for fun, educational experiences at the Macon County Library located on Siler Road in Franklin. Photos by Vickie Carpenter“The library will be offering free programs for kids all summer long, including storytimes, children’s movies, crafts, art, Lego Club, book clubs and visits with our beloved reading dog friends,” said Dando. “These programs include everything from kindergarten readiness storytimes that promote early literacy skills to programs for teens that promote creativity, science and reading, as well as events for all ages in between.”

Dando and the library staff designed a reading program that incorporates various aspects of education.

“This year’s Summer Reading Program complements the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum that many schools have adopted,” said Dando. “The magnetic combination of programs and activities plus books is sure to attract readers of all ages to become summer scientists.”

Many different activities are available to children who can particpate.Each year the library establishes a reading program that allows children to exercise their minds throughout the summer when they are not in the classroom.

“By having an active, hands-on, fun summer reading program, the library’s goal is to prevent the 'summer slide' for local children,” said Dando. “According to the National Summer Learning Association, all young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer."

Even if children cannot attend library programs, they can still participate in the summer reading program by reading at least 15 minutes per day.

The program uses a hands-on approach to open up continuous avenues for learning.“For every week that a child reads 15 minutes per day, he or she gets a prize,” explained Dando. “Thanks to a generous donation from The Factory, the grand prize for reading seven weeks over the summer is a gift certificate to The Factory for a kids pizza buffet + one free attraction + 250 tickets. In addition, for every child that reads at last 15 minutes per day for 49 days over the summer, the children’s librarian will kiss a real, live frog at the library on Thursday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m., for a “Kiss a Frog” Party.”

The staff at the Macon County Public Library wants children of all ages to view the library as a fun, exciting place and for the library to act as a gateway to a lifelong love of reading.

Library reading program schedule:

  • Tuesday, July 8 at 10 AM: Cold-blooded Curiosities presented by Balsam Nature Trust (with live animals)
  • Wednesday, July 9 at 10 AM: Eww! Eek! Wow! (Handson experiments)
  • Thursday, July 17 at 10 AM: "Penguins in July" storytime co-hosted by local authors by Cathryn and John Sill
  • Wednesday, July 23 at 10 AM: Nocturnal Animals presented by Balsam Nature Center (with live animals)

Children involved in the Macon County Schools’ sponsored Summer Edventure Camp participate in the library’s summer reading program.


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