A series of performances by juggler Brian Wendling will kick off the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library's 2008 summer reading program. "Don't Bug Me, I'm Juggling," a free juggling and comedy show, will be held at area branches on June 3, 4 and 5.
"Kids are encouraged to read through the summer for fun," said Jean Berg, library district director. "The library branches plan special programs for eight weeks through June and July to keep the kids coming to the library and reading all summer long. A wide variety of entertaining programs are planned in each branch for all ages."
The library district's summer reading program drew 866 children and 126 teenagers in the two-county district last year. Berg hopes this year's program will attract over 1,000 children and around 140 teen participants.
In 2007, nearly 200 of the district's summer readers were Cassville Library participants. This year's local program will begin with Wendling's performance, which is scheduled to be held at 3:30 p.m. on June 4.
Wendling will also perform at the Shell Knob Library at 1 p.m. on June 4, and the Monett Library at 9 a.m. and the Purdy Library at 3:30 p.m. on June 5.
"We are changing how we are doing things this year," said Kelli Getman, Cassville children's coordinator. "In the previous years, the children and teens came to the library and signed a contract to indicate how many books or pages they would complete. If they finished their contract, they received a prize.
"This year, we are going to have a reading goal for children and teens," said Getman. "Whoever participates in helping us reach our goal of 15,000 pages read by the end of the summer will receive prizes."
Getman said the change was made to allow children who are not able to participate during the entire summer, due to sports practices, vacations, camp, summer jobs or other circumstances, an opportunity to participate when able.
"We had many children and teens who would be here for part of the summer and with a different parent for the rest of the summer," said Getman. "If they are not here at the end of the summer, they wouldn't receive a prize. We are trying to change this so children who don't like to read a lot will feel inspired to help us reach our goal."
Children interested in participating in this year's program, which is called "Catch the Reading Bug," can do so by signing up at any of the library district's branches. Teens can sign up to participate in "Metamorphosis at Your Library."
The Cassville Branch Library has a variety of activities planned for the 2008 summer reading program.
The 2008 program schedule at Cassville includes: "Creepy Crawlies" with Mysti Chrisholm, 10 a.m. on June 11; "Bugs as Pets" with Roxanne Berg, 10 a.m. on June 18; the Discovery Center's "Storybook Science, 10 a.m. on June 25; Dickerson Park Zoo, 2 p.m. on July 9; and "Buggy Facts" with Janea Coker, 2 p.m. on July 16.
The Cassville Branch Library's summer reading program will conclude with "Grubs, Slugs and Magical Bugs," which will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 26. The program will include magic and illusions with lovable bugs.
The Eagle Rock Branch Library also has an assortment of fun activities planned for its summer reading program, which will be kicked off with the Discovery Center at 1:30 p.m. on June 5.
Other programs that will be held at the Eagle Rock Library include: "Bug Art" with Pam Natarus, June 12; "Bugs as Pets," June 19; "Buggy about Beads" with the Bug Lady, June 26; "Rock'n Bugs," July 3; the Ronald McDonald Circus, July 10; "Bugs in Missouri" with Tim Smith, July 17; and "Buggy Summer Picnic Celebration," July 24. All of the programs will be held at 1:30 p.m.
The 2008 summer reading program is open to readers who range from preschool age to young adults.