Ready for liftoff 1

Bulletin photo by Stephen Dow The Johnson County Public Library's popular story hour is on break until the fall. The library's teen summer reading program begins June 4. The children's program begins June 12 with a "blast off" picnic.

This summer, readers are invited to explore the universe as Johnson County Public Library presents “A Universe of Stories.”

“I think it’s going to be really fun,” said Mary Rhoads, assistant director and children’s services librarian. “We get to do all sorts of things with the moon, planets, rockets.”

The program is open to all young people – with programs tailored to readers from preschool through high school.

The teen reading program will begin June 4.

“They’re going to have lots of fun,” Rhoads said. “There are lots of activities, and crafts and door prizes. It’s really cool.”

The summer reading program officially blasts off June 12 with a picnic celebration on the library’s lawn.

As in previous years, the library will be offering story hours on Thursdays as part of the summer reading program.

Additionally, kids are encouraged to read at home and complete reading slips to win prizes such as free ice cream cones and cookies at restaurants around town. Last year, over 450 preschool- to elementary-age students registered to participate in the program.

“We’re encouraging the kids that programs are great fun, but we’re really encouraging them to do their reading,” Rhoads said. “If you can keep kids reading and engaged during the summer, they’ll be able to retain more of their skills when they go back to school in the fall. There’s not that huge drop off like there is if there is no reading involved.”

With generous support from the Friends of Library, Rhoads said, the summer reading program will also host Dr. Noize on June 20. Dr. Noize’s program is billed as musical with lots of audience participation, she said.

Rhoads said kids may read anything they want, from graphic novels to historical fiction to picture books, to rack up hours of reading.  

“We hope they find that love of reading,” she said. “That it’s something they want to do rather than have to do.”

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