Schuylkill Valley Community Library kicked off their summer reading program as well as summer during the first weekend of June on June 7.
Staff and volunteers turned the area around the library in Leesport into a miniature children’s carnival with games, food and pony rides.
“We hold this event as a summer reading kick-off, which we envisioned as a fun way for patrons to visit the library and register for summer reading,” said Christie Himmelreich, Schuylkill Valley Community Library Director about the Summer Reading Kick-Off Party.
The annual event featured games such as a shooting gallery with water guns that were used to shoot balls off of cups, gnome bowling which used soda bottles transformed into gnomes, Frisbee golf, ring toss, a fishing game and many others. There was also a prize tent.
“We had a much smaller version last year, which was planned on the fly in about two weeks prior to the event,” said Himmelreich. “This year, we’ve been planning for months. Kelly Jacoby, our children’s librarian, created all the games based on typical carnival games.”
Himmelreich’s favorite game was the shooting gallery.
“My favorite part was the horses,” said Mary, a volunteer.
Another volunteer, Abby said, “I enjoyed working the games and watching the little kids.”
Based on the smiles and laughter, the children enjoyed their carnival based games and the adults had a good time celebrating not only summer, but the kick-off to the library’s summer reading program.
“The ponies were great and the atmosphere was very welcoming and fun,” said Chris, an attendee.
“It was nice to be able to interact with everyone and see them enjoying themselves,” said Jacoby.
Going into the event, the staff and volunteers had high hopes and expectations due to all the planning and preparation that went into holding such an event.
“It did exceed our expectations,” said Himmelreich. “We were very pleased with the turnout and response from community members who attended.”
About 150 people from the Leesport community attended the event. During the kick-off, children were able to sign up for the summer reading program which has them keeping track of their reading and involves the possibility of winning a prize if they complete all 10 weeks. The reading program also has plenty of fun activities at the library for both children and adults.
“We’re very excited about everything we have planned this year,” said Himmelreich. “We are offering a variety of programs for all age groups, including special events throughout the summer, weekly programs for kids, biweekly family programs and more. We recently added an exciting workshop for adults on composting and simple food preservation.” That event is scheduled for June 26 at 4 p.m. at the library and is presented by Phil Wert.
For more information on the library and a full list of events, visit www.berks.lib.pa.us/svcl. Select programs are featured on the home page slides and the full calendar is under the “All Events” tab. Information is also available at the library at 1310 Washington Road in Leesport (just past the Leesport Swimming Pool).