Jumping off the school bus one last time, losing bookbags in the depths under beds and planning leisurely days of ice cream, swimming and naps marks the beginning of summer vacation.
With summer vibes coming into full swing, the local libraries will be providing a Universe of Stories children’s summer program to help prevent that summer slide and to promote literacy and education.
The Collaborative Summer Library Program is the national, 32-year-old organization that enables libraries across the country to put on this program with materials, artwork and expertise.
The 2019 theme is Universe of Stories, teaching about the moon, planets, constellations and the mysteries of the galaxy through interactive activities, riveting children’s stories and captivating educational lessons.
The goal of this organization is to provide a free and fun opportunity for children and teens to be exposed to their local libraries and to partake in the opportunities they offer.
Sally Ploof Hunter Memorial Library, 101 Public Works Drive, Black River, has already kicked off their summer season with a PTO funded planetarium demonstration. Children in grades one through four attended this unique set-up at the Black River Elementary School and related lessons throughout the day.
The goal of the planetarium visit was to get the students excited for what their local library will be offering. To further that anticipation, the library will be having a Book Loft on June 24 and 25. During this event, students will be receiving a free book in an effort to promote summer reading.
The summer program will officially commence June 26 and continue until Sept. 1.
Planned activities will be offered each of the six weeks, including the creation of mobile planets, a galaxy model, flying saucers and galaxy dough. Children are welcome to stop by the library any time that week during hours to complete the scheduled craft and are encouraged to come back the following week for a different craft. Mark on the calendar that every Tuesday will be popcorn and movie day beginning July 9.
There will also be incentive prizes for those who finish a certain amount of books over their vacation.
“We’re hoping to promote the child to continue reading over the summer and the importance of it,” said Librarian Mary Louise Hunt.
For more information, call 315-773-5163.
Carthage Free Library, 412 Budd St., will have a special kick-off event from 11 a.m. until noon June 27. While sign-ups take place at this time, the entertainment will be supplied by world famous, Guinness Book of World Records holding, master bubble wrangler Jeff Boyer.
The actual program will start Monday, July 1, and continue through Friday, Aug. 9. Certain days of the week will be designated to specific age groups: grades one and two will meet Monday, grades three and four on Tuesdays, grades five and up on Wednesdays and pre-K and kindergarten on Thursdays.
Children can expect interactive and stimulating games and activities led by returning co-coordinators Adalee and Izzy Bamberg.
“We’re looking to give kids a fun experience and a chance to meet up with old friends and to make some new ones,” said library director Linda McCullough.
For more information, call 315-493-2620.
Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library, 229 Washington St., Watertown, is eager to provide children, teens and adults from all over the local and surrounding areas with great opportunities. Sign ups have already begun for the summer reading portion of the program which enables readers to be eligible for prize drawings at the end of the season. Two hours of reading is worth one ticket, so the more hours read means a better chance to win rewards such as a Lego basket, Water Safari tickets or gift cards for the movie theatres, Target or Five Below. Summer activities also include Farmers Market story time every Wednesday and even meeting Darth Vader.
“For me, it’s all about the relationships you get to form with families. I really enjoy the summer events where I get to meet families I do not usually see,” Children’s library director Ashley J. Pickett said.
For more information, call 315-785-7705.
Lowville Free Library, 5387 Dayan St., Lowville, will commence June 25, with a nature trail picnic kickoff at the Lowville Department of Environmental Conservation headquarters. Library officials look forward to having a large group program on Thursdays, building and creating.
For more information, call 315-376-2131.
Harrisville Free Library’s, 8209 Main St., Harrisville, program begins July 9 and lasts until Aug. 15. All elementary and middle school aged children are welcome to attend on designated days throughout the weeks. Things to look forward to include universe, astronaut and planet related crafts as well as building a float for an Aug. 17 parade.
Program coordinator Allyson R. Hall said, “I am definitely excited to work with the kids as it’s my first time. I am excited to see them learn.”
For more information, call 315-543-2577.
Lyons Falls Library, 3918 High St., Lyons Falls, will host its program beginning July 10 and continue through Aug. 14. Fostering relationships with the community and promoting a love for reading and learning will be the goal of this summer program. Some special events the library is excited to offer is a mime on July 31 and the Utica Zoomobile on Aug. 3.
Director Carolyn LeVan eagerly anticipates exploring the unique universe and the exhilaration of reading with young minds.
For more information, call 315-348-6180.
Ogdensburg Public Library, 312 Washington St, Ogdensburg, also offers some summer fun that is already taking place.
Children’s Director Dorian A. Lenney-Wallace said, “I am excited that kids are interested in reading and I hope they beat their books read last year.”
In an attempt to hearten the children’s efforts to read through the summer, children will receive a ticket every five books they complete to put into a prize drawing. On the grand drawing day of Aug. 31, the winning tickets could claim either a telescope or a planetarium projector.
Other dates and special events of this Wednesday program include the Utica Zoo coming July 3, space crafts happening July 10 and 17, a performance by Nan Hoffman July 24 and the opportunity to play drums from all over the world Aug. 14.
For more information, call 315-393-4325.
Massena Public Library, 41 Glenn St., Massena, will be kicking off the season June 24 and will finish up with a beach party on Aug. 2. There will be a variety of activities including summer story time based on age groups as well as things like Dungeons and Dragons for teens and a performance by Didgeridoo Down Under for the whole family.
“What I’m looking forward to most is the kids enjoying the STEM activities this summer,” said Ronni J. Tatro, children’s director.
For more information, call 315-769-9914.
Canton Free Library, 8 Park St., Canton, has lots to offer this summer. The children’s program will be July 9 through Aug. 1. Ages up to 12 can enjoy stories about topics like outer space, aliens and planets followed by music, dancing, songs, games and crafts. Something library director Emily M. Hastings would like to note is that there will be four bigger family events throughout the summer months such as “Books at the Beach” where reading on the sand will be followed by games in the water. Two music events put on by Didgeridoo Down Under and children’s folk singer Nan Hoffman are also scheduled.
At the close of the children’s program, there will be a pet show where youngsters are welcome to bring in pets from dogs to goats to stuffed animals. This summer, Ms. Hastings aspires to promote the importance of reading and is really thankful for program director Valory White, who also runs teen and adult programs at the library.
“I always love seeing how much fun the kids have. Their smiles are everything,” Ms. Hastings said.
For more information, call 315-386-3712.
For a knowledge-filled, creativity overloaded and excitement packed summer, check out your local library for the Universe of Stories program.