All aboard the Magic School Bus! Exeter Community Library kicked off the last week of the 2014 Summer Reading Program with a visit from the Magic School Bus. Ms. Frizzle was joined by about 500 children who toured the bus and enjoyed science experiments, crafts, prizes, and, of course, books on Aug. 12.
About 100 children lined up waiting for the bus’s arrival at 10 a.m. Then, they had the chance to explore the school bus, which was modeled after the one from the series of science-themed books and filled with educational exhibits. Each child was given a Magic School Bus poster and goodie bag before they boarded.
Exeter’s Assistant Children’s Librarian Jennifer Schrott had the honor of playing Ms. Frizzle during the day of Magic School Bus fun. She said her day was filled with posing for pictures, talking to children about the exhibits on display, and trying to keep dry from the rain.
In addition to posing for pictures with Ms. Frizzle, children lined up to give high fives and have their pictures taken with the Chick-fil-A cow, Pete the Cat, and Pippa the Clown, who made balloon animals for the children.
Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline also helped with the event by sending Jeff Carson, a scientist at the company, to showcase fun science experiments throughout the day.
Exeter Community Library Children’s Librarian Laura Kauffman said she saw the Magic School Bus at a Library of Congress event in Washington, D.C., several years ago. Kauffman thought having the Magic School Bus visit the library would be a perfect fit since the summer reading program’s theme was science.
Exeter Comunity Library, Friends of the Exeter Public Library, and Chick-fil-A paid Scholastic to have the bus visit the library as part of the summer reading program.
The summer reading program is held annually in public libraries throughout the country. According to Schrott, “The gist of the program is that regardless of your age, we want you to read books over the summer.” Participants are awarded prizes for reading books. The more books they read, the more chances they have to win.
Libraries across the country follow the same theme, but librarians are able to organize the program and award prizes on an individual basis. This year, the national themes are “Fizz, Boom, Read” for children, “Spark a Reaction” for teens, and “Literary Elements” for adults.
At Exeter Community Library, the program has helped 804 children read over 34,990 books and 77 teens read 4,665 books. For every five books participants read, they get a ticket. The tickets enter readers into a weekly drawing for prize packs. Tickets are also entered into a grand prize drawing that happens toward the end of the program.
The grand prizes include a Kindle Paperwhite, a Nintendo DS, Legos in a giant bucket, and prize baskets for all ages from infant to adult. In addition, children who attended the Magic School Bus event were entered into a drawing to win door prizes that were awarded throughout the day. The door prizes included Magic School Bus books, activities, and coupons for free treats from local restaurants.
For more information about reading programs at Exeter Community Library, call 610-406-9431 or visit www.berks.lib.pa.us/sxt.