A Whale Of A Party Ends Reading Program
By Liz Premo
Atlantic News, Thursday, August 9, 2001
HAMPTON — Approximately 30 of the more than 150 children who signed up for the Lane Memorial Library’s “Octopi Your Mind” summer reading program enjoyed a “Whale of a Party" in the library’s Lane Room last Thursday evening. Those who were present enjoyed a great skit, delicious refreshments and an exciting gift give-away during a special drawing which included a bicycle as the biggest — and perhaps the most coveted — prize.
[Photo left: AND THE WINNER IS — With some assistance from the Lane Reading Lions acting troupe, Lane Library Children’s Librarian Cindy Stosse (center, holding basket) announced the names of those who won door prizes at last week’s Whale of a Party, the final event for the library’s “Octopi Your Mind” summer reading program.
— Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]
The party signified the completion of the program, which by all indications contributed to to a big summer for its young reading enthusiasts.
“The kids did a great job,” explained Children’s Librarian Cindy Stosse. “[They] read over 1200 hours.” For each half-hour of reading time completed over the last several weeks, participants would fill out a ticket and drop it into the library’s very own “treasure chest.” Giving it a good thorough shake-up at the party, Stosse estimated there was more than 2400 tickets inside the chest.
An impressive amount of book-borrowing contributed to the high number of reading hours as well. “Not only did they read that much,” said Stosse, “but there were more books taken out in the month of July  than in any other month” since the library began keeping records.
Door and raffle prizes given away included official “Octopi Your Mind” T-shirts, plush sea creatures, books, teddy bears, marine-themed tumblers (each complete with lid and drinking straw), and bags of gummy fish and sharks. The grand prize, a beautiful bicycle donated by Wal- Mart, was won by David Sheehy, who helped his parents and three siblings make their participation in the reading program a real family affair.
Older children in the reading program — the Lane Reading Lions acting troupe — presented a skit, “The Ocean Olympics.” Heidi Hammerhead, Gretchen the Great White, Selma Swell Shark, Margie the Mako Shark, Tina the Thresher Shark, and Wilma Whale Shark performed underwater athletic “events” for a panel of three “judges," receiving awards for such skills as being the fastest or having the sharpest teeth. Said Heidi as the winners were announced, “I smell victory!”
Near the close of the event, the summer readers and their adult guests lined up at the refreshment table, where blue gelatin “jigglers,” cake, ice cream topped with homemade blueberry sauce, and aqua blue punch were being served. As they enjoyed their goodies, all participants received certificates for their involvement in the program, kudos for their accomplishments, and encouragement from Stosse to “keep reading” long after summer is over and school begins in the fall.
For more information about any of the children’s programs offered at the Lane Library, call the Children’s Room at 926- 4729.