Reading Is A Summer Treasure

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By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, June 9, 2006

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]

TREASURE TIME — Children’s Librarian Marybeth Varney tells a first grade class from Centre School about the fun they’ll have taking part in the Lane Memorial Library’s annual summer reading program, entitled “Treasure Reading.” [Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]

HAMPTON -- “When I think of treasure, I think of treasure chests, gold coins, pirates [and] the beach,” says Children’s Librarian Marybeth Varney, speaking to a group of first graders from Centre School.

Seated on the platform in the Lane Room at the Lane Memorial Library in Hampton, Varney is telling the students about the fun they can have taking part in the library’s Summer Reading Program, entitled “Treasure Reading 2006.”

Varney displays several book titles the kids can consider while making their summer reading choices (“How I Became a Pirate” by Melinda Long is one of them). By devoting 30 minutes a day reading and keeping track of the time they spend with an open book, she tells them, participants can earn tickets to drop into a special treasure chest in the Children’s Room. The more tickets earned, the better the chances of winning some terrific treasures when the program concludes.

When asked the best time to read for half-hour blocks, the students offered their ideas, such as skipping a couple of days’ worth of television. Varney also emphasized that if “you keep practicing [over the summer] you can start right off in those chapter books” when second grade begins in the fall. She encouraged them to look for reading list selections which have won the Lady Bug Book Award.

It appears this year’s summer reading program at the Lane Memorial Library will be an award-winning one as well. “Treasure Reading” begins with a kick-off party featuring Steve Blunt on Thursday, June 29 at 10 a.m. An award-winning musician and storyteller who is popular with both kids and grown-ups, Steve has more than 20 years' experience in the arts and education. His CD, “Hang On, Henry!” has been called “an upbeat, kid-friendly album for the whole family.”

Though the July 6 program was still somewhat of a mysterious piece of buried treasure as of press time, the July 13 program will feature a “Rocky Shore” presentation by the Seacoast Science Center. Beloved puppeteer Martha Dana and her larger-than-life puppets will entertain on July 20, while on July 27 Partners in Rhyme will present “Pirate Stories.” All of these programs will be presented on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. at the library.

In addition, Storytimes will be offered every Thursday morning 9:30 a.m. throughout the month of July; no sign-ups are necessary. The Children’s Room will offer weekly reading incentive prizes as well as drop-in crafts and coloring papers. The final week of the “Treasure Reading” program will feature a spectacular Pirate Party grand finale, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Want to know more about this culiminating event? Sign up, read a lot and find out on August 3.

Registration will begin on Monday, June 19 and will continue through June 30. The six-week program is open to children under age 12. The first 100 children who sign up will receive a ticket voucher for the Portland Sea Dogs game taking place on Saturday, July 22.

Grab a treasure map, fly the Jolly Roger and get ready for summer reading at the Lane Memorial Library. For more information, call the Children’s Room at (603) 926-4729.

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