Monday, August 8, the final races and competition of the Summer Family Olympics were held for the Morgan County Library Summer Reading Program. Under the theme, “On your mark, get set..read!” over 1,000 eager readers signed up to participate with 816 people reading and earning prizes during the summer.
Not all of the attendees at the party participated officially in the summer reading program, but enthusiastically support the library. Jane Goulson and her five children love the library. Five year old Vivian read 20 books over the summer and thinks “the fish are the best thing about the library.” Ten year old Ryan enjoyed reading Bridie of the Grand Canyon over the summer and Hannah, a seven year old, liked Morris the Moose was a Cowboy.
“I love to read,” Jane shared, “but don’t get as much done during the summer with the kids all home. I love the library and all that it has to offer.”
Reading is also a family affair for the Warr family: Max, Addi, Ian and mom, Bethany. Second grader Max had just finished the obstacle course when he shared that he read so much this summer that he earned a prize every week with Legos being his favorite prize. His favorite author he read this summer was Roald Dahl. “My favorite book was The Twits, and I also learned that books are better than the movie,” referencing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the book versus the movie.
Addi, a kindergartener, also earned a prize every week. She loved reading Pinkalicious and Fancy Nancy all by herself. She also helped her little brother, Ian, earn prizes. Three year old Ian loved having his brother and sister read to him about Mickey Mouse, Thomas the Train and Humpty Dumpty. His favorite prize over the summer was a green gecko like in the cartoon PJ Mask.
Bethany Warr is happy to have just finished her BA degree so she has more time to read and listen to books. “I love that the summer reading program motivates kids to read and give them something to do over the summer. We’ve been in Morgan two year and really enjoy the library and the fun activities.”
Fifth grader Londyn Elmer really enjoyed the Percy Jackson series this summer. “I like the exciting stories and I love reading!” Her favorite prize was chips.
Mom Megan Gilson who attended the party with some of her children noted, “I love that it is good motivation for the kids to read. My kids love to come to the library and pick out new books.”
Becca Elmer added, “And the librarians will even set aside books for you or your kids if they know you will like them.”
“Everyone in my book club in the lower valley is jealous of my library experience in Morgan,” Gilson continued. “The librarians know you and they take a personal interest in you. You can trust their recommendations for you as well as your kids. We are so lucky!”
During the summer reading program this year over 14,320 books were read by the youngest patrons ranging from 0-5 years. The school-age kids (6-12 year olds) read 274, 950 pages, the teens 103,500 and the adults 66,660 pages for a total of 445, 050 pages for Morgan County this summer. Many adults may have the impression that the summer reading program is only for kids, but the library staff welcomes readers of all ages with great prizes for adults as well as children. This summer the library awarded 3,116 prizes with the largest number (1833) going to the 6-12 age bracket. The second highest prize group was the 0-5 kids who received 716 prizes.
Choosing prizes was serious business for all ages. Many times during the summer, I personally observed the process as my children and others stood in front of the glass case and thoughtfully considered which prize would be the best and give the most bang for the time spent reading. Some kids were immediately drawn to a book or toy while others went straight for the candy basket or coupons from local businesses. On one occasion I witnessed the librarian patiently trade a young patron three or four times before he finally settled on the prize he eventually took take home.
The Morgan County Library would love to thank Subway, Hinds, J’s Drive In, Pretzelmaker, Parkside Lanes, Ridley’s and the Morgan County Fair Board for donating prizes over the summer. “Prizes were paid for with our library budget plus coupons from local businesses as well as donations made from some of our amazing parents and grandparents of Morgan County,” Jana Peay explained. “We are so very grateful for our great readers and we love the summer program.”