Willard Library has recruited a menagerie of furry friends to promote the joy of reading this summer.

“The Tails and Tales summer reading theme is inspired by all the fun, adorable animals children love and the tales we can create with them,” said Tynisha Dungey, director of youth services and community engagement. “Guests will see the theme through our choice of decorations and incorporated in some of our programs.”

Families are invited to celebrate summer reading on Thursday, June 10, from 6-8 p.m. at the drive-up kickoff in the parking lot of Willard Library downtown, 7 W. Van Buren St.

Youth Services staff members will hand out summer reading logs and Tails and Tales-themed items while families remain in their vehicles. Materials will be available while supplies last.

Stop by either the main library or Helen Warner branch to pick up the Tails and Tales Summer Reading Brochure.  It’s hot off the press and includes reading logs for children, a bingo game for teens, and an adult challenge.

“This school year has been a year of transition for all of us, especially students. Change is hard, but our students have been so resilient through it all,” Dungey said. “Youth Services staff wanted to continue the joy of reading outside of the classroom, and we hope all children will participate in the summer reading program.”

As an incentive, children from birth to this fall’s fourth-graders may earn prizes for reading or being read to. Children should color a sea creature for each day they read. The logs are available in English and Spanish.

Prizes will be available after every 20 days of reading. Participants may claim their prizes through curbside service or in person at either library. Participants who read a total of 60 days and turn in their logs by Aug. 13 will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a gift certificate to a local business.

The schedule will be:
--Friday, June 25: Prize one available for 20 days of reading
--Friday, July 16: Prize two available for a total of 40 days of reading
--Friday, Aug. 6: Prize three available for a total of 60 days of reading
--Friday, Aug. 13: Last day to claim prizes and be entered in the grand-prize drawing

Most summer programs will be video premieres on Willard's Facebook and YouTube channels.

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“Read with Friends” at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays features Youth Services staff members reading the first few chapters of a book aloud, and then families may finish reading the book. Each month’s book bundle will be available for pick up at the beginning of the month at both libraries while supplies last. In addition, each book is available digitally from Hoopla and/or Libby.

On Wednesdays at 11 a.m., children may explore the fun world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Supplies for each week’s virtual activity are in the Grab ’n’ Go bags, which will be available at the beginning of the month while supplies last. This program, which deepens children’s understanding of science, math, and art, is geared to children who just finished kindergarten through fourth grade.

Little Explorers is for the library’s youngest guests from birth through 4 years. Little Explorers on the Go Bags contain materials for a variety of programs on Thursdays at 11 a.m. and will be available at the beginning of the month while supplies last.


Adorable Pictures of Animals Wearing Bunny Ears


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