Summer reading kicks off at Pelham Civic Complex  

Participants in the Pelham Library’s summer reading programs enjoyed free ice-skating at the civic complex with their families June 7 to kick-off the summer’s programs. (Reporter photo/Jessa Pease)

Participants in the Pelham Library’s summer reading programs enjoyed free ice-skating at the civic complex with their families June 7 to kick-off the summer’s programs. (Reporter photo/Jessa Pease)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Hundreds of avid readers joined together at the Pelham Civic Complex June 7 for free ice-skating to kick off the library’s summer reading programs, “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” and “Get in the Game READ!”

Kids and teens alike were invited to participate in the Pelham Public Library’s programs, and the library has expanded its teen reading program to include more than books this year.

“For the past two years we’ve had it, but normally it’s just come check out books,” said Matt Griffin, the teen librarian. “We have summer reading lists, and we’re going to try a little bit more this summer.”

“Get in the Game READ!” began May 31 and runs through July 20. All students grades six through 12 may participate. For every four young adult items checked out, teens will receive a prize from the gym bag and be entered to win the grand prize, a new Samsung Galaxy Tab4.

Programs include video game nights with Wii Minecraft multiplayer and Wii Sports, a LEGO competition, monthly tabletop game days and Teen Tech activities where students learn how to take everyday objects apart, such as printers and hard drives.

“Why let the kids have all the fun?” Griffin said. “The teens have fun, and then adults as well. I think they are going to like it a lot. It’s not so much that you are overwhelmed this summer.”

In her first year over the children’s department, Rebecca Burchfield said she’s excited to see the programming available for the kids. She’s especially looking forward to presentations by Animal Tales and the 4H Center.

At registration, each of the “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” participants received a “book bingo sheet,” a reading log and a few goodies. Then they were free to start reading and marking off each book on their bingo sheet.

Kids will win a small prize each time they earn a bingo. Once they complete a full bingo sheet, kids qualify for bigger prizes and a chance to win a bike from Bike Link.

“I’m really excited because this is my first summer at Pelham,” Burchfield said. “I’ve been a librarian for a long time, but I just recently started working at the Pelham Library. I’m excited to get everything underway. This is the biggest time, usually, for us.”

The children’s summer reading program lasts until July 21, following a weekly pattern of movies on Mondays, performers on Tuesdays, story time on Wednesdays, crafts and stories on Thursdays and LEGOs on Fridays.

Library Director Mary Campbell said the students can all compete in the LEGO competition in July. She added it’s probably her favorite part of the summer program, seeing what the students are able to create.

With only a few days under their belts, Campbell said everyone seemed excited about the summer programming, and kids have already started checking out books.

“They are enjoying it,” she said. “This is our first program, but they have been signing up for a week now. They always enjoy the summer program, and we get kids from all over the county that come.”

For more information, visit Pelhamlibrary.com.