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Peru Library engages children

BY Paige Conley - pconley@perutribune.com

The Peru Public Library is ready to kick off their annual summer reading program beginning June 1 with new incentives for the children.

According to Peru Public Library Children’s Program Coordinator Michelle Spangler, there is going to be a teen reading program for children middle school age through high school and a children’s reading program for kids aged birth through eighth grade.

The programs are going to run from June 1 through July 31 and are free to join.

“We try to include everybody,” Spangler said.

Spangler said the Children’s Summer Reading Program runs on points. The bigger the book, the more points the child receives for reading it.

She also said there are three milestones children receive prizes for hitting which include 100, 300, and 500 points.

When a child hits 100 and 300 points, they are rewarded with a coupon from one of several businesses around Peru. These coupons include Dreams to Reality Cakes for a free cake ball, East End Double Dip for ice cream, Pizza Quick, and many other businesses.

PPL also has an agreement with the Kokomo Jackrabbits that when a child hits 100 points, they receive a ticket to a Jackrabbits baseball game and when they hit 300 points, they receive a ticket to a Fort Wayne TinCaps baseball game.

“We’ve gotten a lot of sponsors,” Spangler said.

Children who earn 500 points during the Summer Reading Program receive a ribbon, a bag donated by Outrageous Apparel, and their names added into a drawing for even larger prizes.

One of the prizes is four movie tickets donated by The Roxy Theater that not only include the tickets, but also snacks for their movie.

The library is even going to give five points to the children for every library program they participate in aside from the Summer Reading Program.

“We’re trying to make it more of a learning experience,” Spangler said.

Children are welcome to join the Summer Reading Program any time throughout the summer. All they have to do is go to the library and fill out a card with their basic information to sign up.

Children can check out books one of three ways. They can use their own library card to check out books or their parent’s can use their library card to check out books for them if they aren’t old enough to have one. However, if neither the child or the parent has a library card they can still participate in the Summer Reading Program and use the libraries book exchange section to borrow books and bring them back when they are finished.

The Summer Reading Program not only keeps children active during the summer, but it helps them maintain their reading level for when they go back to school in the fall.

“We’ve been told by many teachers that kids continuing to read over the summer makes the kids more successful when they start school at the beginning of the year,” Farnham said.

The reading program also helps children combat summer learning loss in which they lose what they learned throughout the school year because they aren’t continuing to explore and learn new things, Spangler said.

“We just really want to get the kids involved, help them have a good summer, and hopefully they learn a little something, too,” Spangler said.

The Summer Reading Program is going to begin June 1 with a Junie B. Jones party. According to Spangler, the party is going to feature making purple glasses like Junie B. Jones, a yucky, blucky cake walk, and many other activities related to the books.

Spangler hopes to see a lot of children there and see many participating in the Summer Reading Program.

“We have our fantastic reading program, we have tons of sponsors, tons of free paper back books,” Farnham said. “It should be a really fun and exciting summer for these kids.”