Cape public library kicks off summer reading program

Sunday, June 2, 2002

The Cape Girardeau Public Library kicked off the summer reading program with a carnival Saturday.

"Mysterious Summer," the theme of this year's program, aims to take the mystery out of finding a good book, said youth service coordinator Sharon Anderson.

"There's a lot of 'Harry fallout,'" Anderson said. But the library has plenty to offer to readers wait for the next installment in the popular Harry Potter series.

Some are discovering C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" series, Madeline L'Engle's "Wrinkle In Time" books and many others.

And with video games, television and other visual stimuli competing for children's attention, Anderson said it's important to keep students reading at least some of the time.

A self-confessed fantasy enthusiast, Anderson also recommends almost any book by Jane Yolen.

Saturday was the first day children could sign up for the summer reading program, which encourages youth to read for at least 900 minutes over the next two months.

Those who reach the 900-minute goal are eligible for the grand-prize drawing. Four winners will take home new bicycles at the end of the summer.

Youth services assistant Olympia McMackins had her hands full on the back parking lot as children formed a line to sign up for different programs.

The summer program is aimed at older youth as well.

"Tuesdays for Teens" is a project in which the teens will plan, rehearse and make their own movie.

Another program, "Actors' Workshop," will feature live performances from the children and an original script.

Sign up lists will still be open Monday.

While children were entertained outdoors by volunteers working as clowns, face-painters and able to participate in various games, the check-out counter inside the library was bustling, too.

"Days like today remind you that the library is a wonderful place to be on a hot summer day," said youth services assistant Brenda Renner, remarking on the sweltering 89-degree weather.

335-6611, extension 160

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