Get Ready for Summer Reading Fun at Camp Wannaread

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By Liz Premo, Editor, '21 Voices'

Atlantic News, Friday, June 24, 2005

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]

KEEP ON READING - Lane Memorial Library Children's Librarian Cyndi Stosse reads "Crazy Times at Camp Custer" to a group of Centre School first graders, who were there for an introduction of this year's "Camp Wannaread" Summer Reading Program. [Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]

HAMPTON -- Just because the calendar says it's summertime, it doesn't mean that the kids have to take a vacation from reading.

First graders at Centre School were encouraged to remember this recently when they visited the Lane Memorial Library in Hampton to hear about this year's Summer Reading Program.

Entitled "Camp Wannaread," the program promises its participants a variety of camping-related stories and activities, great prizes, and an exciting opportunity to delve into as many books as they can throughout the program's six-week run.

Children's Librarian Cynthia Stosse provided all Centre first graders a program overview during three scheduled visits which included some read-aloud time featuring titles such as "Crazy Times at Camp Custer."

"It's hard work; you have to read 30 minutes each day (or be read to)," explained Stosse. She told them how they would earn a ticket for every 30 minutes of reading time; each ticket is dropped into a treasure chest for the drawing.

"The big grand prize is a bicycle," Stosse told the students, who gasped excitedly. "And everyone gets a book; you get free books and prizes, but you get something even better than that."

And what exactly could that be?

"You get to be a better reader," she told them, adding that when they get to second grade, "[your] teachers will be so surprised and so happy" to find that they are "strong readers and enthusiastic learners."

This summer's "happy campers" will also get a chance to welcome local favorite Martha Dana and her puppets, and find out about Smokey the Bear and how to prevent forest fires. Plus, said Stosse, "there will be real snakes coming" for a Curious Creatures visit.

"Yessssss!" came the students' sibilant response.

Camp Wannaread, explained Stosse, will also be a place where "you keep your school-friend connections and you keep up with your reading. It's an opportunity to try different kinds of books and a new level in reading."

According to Stosse, "This is the second year that we've had this cooperation between the school and the library." Along with the summer reading "preview" visit, Centre School students have enjoyed visiting the library in the fall, welcoming Stosse to their classrooms for some winter read-aloud time, and making selections at the springtime book sale put on by the Friends of the Lane Library.

Centre School first grade teacher Kathie Street was one of the driving forces in forming this school-library connection, which emphasizes the importance of reading whether or not school is in session.

"We encourage kids to read at least a book a day," says Street, explaining how the school's Harcourt language arts curriculum includes 30 minutes of reading or being read to. In class, "we talk about fun places to read - the beach, the park, the back yard, up in a tree house. Everyplace you go, you can read."

The library's summer reading program provides vital social connections too. "They get to see their friends, and read together," much like the buddy reading that's often done in class, says Street. "Kids enjoy reading with each other."

Together they are sure to enjoy the Camp Wannaread summer entertainment, arranged by Children's Room Library Assistant Joanne Mulready. She also notes that students "get excited when they see the bike" which is traditionally offered as the grand prize for the program's most prolific reader. Some kids, she says, "make it a little contest between one another" to out-do their pals in the amount of time that is spent reading.

It's perfectly alright to spur one another on toward achieving such lofty goals but, says Mulready, the main idea of the program is "just to read and enjoy it." As for the first grade students at Centre School, Street reports that "they were very excited to hear about the [Camp Wannaread] activities. They can't wait."

Then, of course, there's the exciting finale: A "Party, Party, Party!" on Thursday, August 4, at which time the grand prize bicycle winner will be announced. Until then, it's time to open the books and start reading!

To find out more about this year's Camp Wannaread Summer Reading Program at the Lane Memorial Library, call the Children's Room at (603) 4729.

Camp Wannaread
2005 Summer Reading Program
Lane Memorial Library
Academy Avenue Hampton
June 23 thru August 4
Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.
June 29 - Camping
July 6 - Canoeing
July 13 - Kayaking
July 20 - Bears
July 27 - Hiking
August 3 - Bugs
Special Summer Programs:
Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.
July 7 - Mike and Cathy Caron
July 14 - Martha Dana
July 21 - Curious Creatures
July 28 - Forest Fires
August 4 - Party, Party, Party!
Movies for Teens:
Fridays at 1 p.m.
July 1 - 'Camp Nowhere' (PG)
July 8 - 'Space Camp' (PG)
July 15 - 'Ernest Goes to Camp' (PG)
July 22 - 'Heavyweights' (PG)
July 29 - 'Without a Paddle' (PG-13)
(603) 926-4729
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