Pelham Library hosts Carnival

Kids who participated in the Pelham Library’s summer reading program enjoyed a carnival themed party July 21 with games, food and balloon animals. (Reporter Photo/Jessa Pease)

Kids who participated in the Pelham Library’s summer reading program enjoyed a carnival themed party July 21 with games, food and balloon animals. (Reporter Photo/Jessa Pease)

By JESSA PEASE/Staff Writer 

PELHAM— To celebrate the 600 kids who participated in its summer reading program, the Pelham Public Library held a carnival-themed party July 21.

At 2 p.m. children began to file into a room filled with colorful games, a book of cookies and snacks and a giant superhero cutout. Several junior librarians helped out with the games and giving out prizes as Mary Campbell, the youth services supervisor, greeted families.

“This is our summer reading finale, Carnival,” Campbell said. “So it’s just to reward the kids for doing our summer reading program, coming to programs and doing their bingo sheets.”

The kids who participated in the reading program were given bingo sheets that listed different books and activities, such as “Read a nonfiction book” or “Read a funny book.”

As readers marked out their squares they got bingos, and that’s where they earned prizes. If readers finished their bingo sheet, their name was put into a drawing for the grand prizes. Prizes included a bicycle from Bike Link, Legos and superhero gear.

Campbell said the summer reading program is about preventing students from losing what they learned during the school year and starting the next one behind.

“We do this to encourage kids to stay on top of their reading, to stay on grade level and to help them advance their skills instead of losing them over the summer,” Campbell said.

She said the bingo-style summer program works well for the library because it allows kids to go at their own pace. This program also allows the student to explore multiple genres they might not pick up otherwise.

“We found that this is the best way to let them self-pace and to not get overwhelmed with ‘I have to read 20 books this summer,’” Campbell said. “They can go at their own pace and read their own level books.”

Sophia Manley, one of the junior librarians, helped run the carnival with Campbell. She said she read about 30 books over the summer.

“We are just celebrating and enjoying reading and encouraging reading throughout the school year as well,” Manley said.