Summer library programs make a splash with reading

Published 1:30 pm Friday, May 28, 2010

When kids think of summer, they think of lazy days filled with sunshine and sprinklers, but their days should be filled with something else – reading.

Frances Smith, youth services librarian at the Albert L. Scott library in Alabaster, says many kids who don’t read during the summer may lose their reading skills, especially if they are younger or only recently learning to read. However, any parent knows it’s almost impossible to convince a child to sit down and read a book when the crisp cool swimming pool is outside begging to be jumped in.

The summer library programs at Alabaster’s library, known as “Summer Challenge,” offer fun and unique incentives to keep kids reading. When children sign up for the program, they get a reading log to keep track of the titles they’ve read. As the summer continues, they’re allowed to choose prizes based on the number of books they read.

Smith also said the library offers exciting and educational programs on the weekends, including plays, puppet shows, science demonstrations and more.

The programs aren’t limited to material only younger children will love, however. Kids from birth to 18 years old are welcome to participate.

Last year, more than 800 kids of all ages participated in the Alabaster library’s summer reading programs.

This year, the kick-off for kids 10 and younger is June 2 at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., and will include magic and comedy shows and prizes. Kids ages 11-18 can come to the kick-off on June 3 at 6:30 p.m., which will feature refreshments, prizes, and the chance to create a watercolor resist seascape with an artist from the Birmingham Museum of Art. For more information and the full summer programs calendar, contact the Alabaster library at 664-6822.

Alabaster isn’t the only library kicking off summer programs this year. The Pelham library will offer The Reading Readiness Camp. It begins June 4 from 10-11:30 a.m. and July 16 from 10-11:30 a.m. Pelham will also offer Reading Improvement Camp. It begins June 18 10-11:30 a.m. For more information and to register, call 620-6419 or e-mail

Calera library’s summer programs for grades K-3 begin at 10 a.m. on June 8. Grades 4 and higher kick off at 2 p.m. on the same day. The kickoff party will include crafts, games and refreshments. For more info call 668-3514.

North Shelby library also offers programs beginning June 5 at 10 a.m. at Heardmont Park. Registration is ongoing, but they do request parents come to the library to register. For more info, visit

The Harrison Regional Library is a great resource to find a library offering summer programs near you. Visit them at or call 669-3928 to help your kids make a splash with summer reading.