Libraries participate in ‘National Take Your Child to the Library Day'

News photo by Emily Thiel Maxwell, 4, William and Jack Dramby, 8, pick out a book at National Take Your Child to the Library Day.

Libraries are teaching the youth across America to appreciate a good read.

National Take Your Child to the Library Day was celebrated through local libraries Saturday, Feb. 1.

Mifflin Community Library, 6 Philadelphia Ave., Shillington, hosted a variety of events to promote safety, well-being and health for children and their family.

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“This is the third year for the event,” Kristin Brumbach, Children and Youth Services at Mifflin Community Library, said. Through participating “we hope to draw people to the library,” she said. Events lasted from 9 a.m. to noon.

For registering, the library received trial subscriptions to an online digital library for free.

On the national event day, Brumbach was glad to notice some new faces at the library.

Jessica Front, nutrition services at Reading Hospital, spoke with children and their parents about healthy eating, being active, well-balanced meals and the benefits of proper nutrition. Front spoke with the children about meals and food that provides a variety of flavors and nutrients. She stressed how catering to your health can benefit every aspect of life.

“I’m talking to parents, too,” Front said. Front offered healthy meal ideas for parents and offered suggestions of how to be an active family.

The League of Women Voters promoted the importance of natural gas safety. The women are taking it upon themselves to teach the community the dangers behind gas pipelines. “A lot of children don’t know what to do if they smell a natural gas leak,” Roberta Winters, League of Women Voters, said. “We are teaching them to know what’s below you before you dig.”

If you smell a leak, dial 8-1-1. Natural gas scratch and sniff samples provided an example of the scent, which taught the children, and their parents, “good smells” and “bad smells.”

Winters stated that “pipelines have risks and we need to minimize the dangers.” With more natural gas extraction throughout the state, more pipelines will be used to pump the gas. The women will be holding an upcoming educational forum about pipelines for adults at the Mifflin Library.

The Shillington Lions Club held vision screenings for children age seven and under. The $14,000 high-tech PediaVision camera can instantaneously identify near-sightedness, unequal refractive power, far-sightedness, eye misalignment, blurred vision, pupil size and eye movement.

“The camera takes a photo which produces a full screening and gives the report to the parents,” Shillington Lions Club member Dan Lubas, of Sinking Spring, explained.

The process is quick and painless for the child, but can detect eye issues that are non-correctable after the age of seven. Melissa Hinkle, Shillington Lions Club, shared her personal struggle with vision problems as a child. In school, her eye issues made it difficult for her to read, which affected her ability to participate and learn in the classroom.

“For children getting glasses is a complete turnaround, their world is opened up,” Lubas said. In total, the Lions Club District has three cameras; 45 of the district Lions Clubs are authorized to use the materials.

If your organization would like to set up a KidSight vision screening with the Lions Club, call Melissa Hinkle at 610-777-5475 or visit shillingtonlions.org.

Exeter Community Library, 4569 Prestwick Dr., Reading, kicked off their February Facebook weekend promotions with the National Take your Child to the Library Day, which drew a crowd.

“I’m glad -- we’ve been very busy,” Mallory Hoffman, library director, said.

“We are promoting reading,” Children’s Librarian Laura C. Kauffman said. The children’s library was decorated with balloons and puzzles, games and crafts were set out and available to play. Each child who came to the library was able to pick a lollipop and if the end was colored with pen - they won a prize of a shirt, stuffed animal, or book.

A goodie bag encouraged the children to continue reading and entice them to come back.

“I picked this fish puzzle out. I love animals,” John Richards, 5, Reading, said while working on a floor puzzle with his mom.

Kauffman stressed to remind the community that the library is always a fun, warm, educational and free environment for all ages to enjoy.

About the Author

Emily Thiel

Emily Thiel is the editor of The Southern Berks News and is the Community Engagement Editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers. Emily joined Berks-Mont in March 2013. She graduated from Kutztown University in 2011 with a degree in English with a concentration in Cultural and Media Studies. Emily is a native of Allentown, Pa. Reach the author at ethiel@berksmontnews.com or follow Emily on Twitter: @sthrnberksnews.