Reading Colors Your World theme for summer reading program

    HARLAN -- The Harlan Community Library summer library program will kick off June 1 with activities and prizes for all ages.
    “We’re just encouraging reading and learning during the summer months because there’s always that summer slide,” said youth services librarian Emily Kurth-Christensen.
    The theme for the summer library program is “Reading Colors Your World” and is aimed at promoting diversity. The program materials are sprinkled with colorful drawings and designs that depict different characters, from a young boy to vibrant snail, as avid readers.
    “The theme is really based around diversity, inclusivity, color and art, so we’re building off of all those themes this summer in our program,” Kurth-Christensen said.
    The library has also started a new program called ColorLOVE to coordinate with the “Reading Colors Your World” theme.
    Children can pick up coloring pages from the library, color them and return them. The library will deliver the artwork to Elm Crest Retirement Community and distribute them to patients.
    “It’s just a way to share kindness this summer,” Kurth-Christensen said.
    The children’s summer library program will be similar to previous years with the return of Reading Bingo. Reading Bingo is available to children pre-kindergarten through 4th grade with two levels of Bingo sheets offered.
    “They get small prizes for completing their bingos. If they get a blackout, they get a prize and a book,” Kurth-Christensen said.
    The summer library program will include fun activities of all varieties, from reading and stories to art and coloring.
    “We’re going to have all different activities that work around the theme ‘Reading Colors Your World,’” Kurth-Christensen said.
    Weekly outdoor children’s programs, called “Outdoor Art Adventures,” will take place at different parks around Harlan every Wednesday at 10 a.m. The programs will include reading, games and art.
    “We’re gonna do it rain or shine. If it rains, we’re still gonna be out there,” Kurth-Christensen said.
    “We picked parks that have shelters, so hopefully we can all social distance and meet under the shelter and have lots of fun together.”
    The library will also host a free summer snack program for children 18 and under on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 11 a.m.
    The teen and tween summer reading program offers a prize to readers 5th grade and up for reading and writing a review on two books.
    The Summer Book Buzz, a youth book club, is open to tweens and teens grades six and up. The program, which will be led by Dena Jacobsen, begins June 10 and registration is required by June 4.
    In addition to the children’s programming at the library, there are opportunities for adults and families to get involved in the summer library program.
    “I want to promote literacy and fun for the adults in the community,” said adult services librarian Elizabeth Schechinger.
    “I hope I can continue to build the love of reading in adults too, not just kids.”
Adult Program
    The adult library program involves a “Postcard Reading Challenge” that participants can complete to earn entries for monthly prize drawings.
    “At the end of each month, they can turn in their cards and get put in for the prize drawing,” Schechinger said.
    The challenges can include writing book reviews, attending library programs or other reading activities.
    “Library and Lunch”, which is similar to a book club, is one of the programs available to adults this summer. Participants can attend the noon event to discuss the book selected that month.
    The first “Library and Lunch” book discussion will take place June 8 at 12 p.m. and will discuss the book “They Called Us Enemy.”
    Another program for adults will include a speaker event co-sponsored by the Shelby County Historical Museum. The speaker will discuss the history of cultural diversity in Shelby County on June 29 at 4 p.m.
    Larry McDermott, a speaker from the Nishna Valley Model Railroad Society, will also host an event on the history of the Harlan railroads.
    “I like to work with other local groups to spur interest in what they are doing too,” Schechinger said.
    Many of the adult programs will take place in-person at the library, while the children’s programs will take place outdoors.
    The summer library program last summer was completely virtual, but the library is transitioning back to more in-person events this summer.
    “This year we are attempting to do more in-person,” Kurth-Christensen said. “I think this is closer to what we’ve done in the past; we’re getting back to that this year.”
    A kickoff picnic will take place June 3 at the library and materials for the summer program will be distributed. Hot dogs, chips, cookies and drinks will be served at the grab-and-go event.
    Registration packets containing information about the program can be picked up starting June 1 and will be available throughout the month.


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