Library summer reading programs a success in Lake County

LAKE COUNTY — When kids are out of school for the summer months, local libraries pick up where the classrooms left off — providing a place for kids to meet and do fun activities, and enhance their love for books and reading.

Luther Area Public Library and Chase Township Public Library have now wrapped up their annual reading programs. This year's theme was "Tails and Tales" — all about animals.

“We had a successful reading program, the kids enjoyed it,” said Jody Lucas, co-library director/librarian for the Luther Area Public Library.

About 23 Luther area kids regularly participated, gathering for 'Whale of a Time Wednesdays' each week, and got to enjoy making a baby turtle craft; painting a pet rock to take home and one to leave at the library to adopt out; playing Bird Brain Bingo to help identify common birds; and more.

Kids also were able to complete fun activities at home, and open their imaginations by pouring through books. They kept a reading log of their progress, and at the end of the summer reading program, the most avid readers received a grand prize.

Throughout the summer, there were piggy banks at the library where people could donate change. Each kid who won received around $50, Lucas added. On the last day they got backpacks stuffed with snacks, crayons, stuffed animals and other fun supplies.

On the last day of the program, kids each received a backpack filled with fun supplies such as snacks, toys, crayons and stuffed animals.

Youth from the Chase area enjoyed a time of creativity and learning once a week for eight weeks at the Chase Township Public Library.

"The program went well," library director Roxanne Ware said. "It was nice having the kids back after COVID. Thirty-two kids signed up, not where we normally are, but close. One day we explored fairytales and learned what really happened to Humpty Dumpty. That was fun."

Kids were treated to a pizza party outside on the last day of the summer reading program in Chase. The funding for the program was made possible with a grant from the Lake County Community Foundation, Ware added.

The Pathfinder Community Library in Baldwin didn't have their annual summer reading program due to precautions with COVID, but they did partner with Lake County 4-H to provide a place where kids could pick up a craft and other activities to take home, said Bonnie Povilaitis, library director.

However, there will be a program for youth and adults alike to fine-tune their literacy skills through a creative writing workshop at Pathfinder Community Library. The youth workshop, for ages 8-17, will take place from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, and for ages 18 and up, a workshop will be offered from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18. The class will be taught by Deidre Fagan, associate professor and coordinator in English, Literature and World Languages at Ferris State University.