The final school bells of the year have now rung and parents looking to keep their children busy have an exciting option at library sites around the area.
Saturday will mark the beginning of the summer reading program at libraries in all corners of Harnett County. The theme this year will be “Libraries Rock.” Library officials hope this year’s program will encourage children to have fun and keep skills they learned during the regular school year.
There will be kick-off celebration Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the library’s main branch in Lillington.
The free event will feature an inflatable obstacle course and bounce house, face painting, snow cones from Kona Ice, and registration for summer reading.
The Boone Trail Moms of Preschoolers, or MOPS, group will also host a cool down station inside of the library featuring sensory bins, coloring sheets and a private space for breastfeeding moms.
The reading program is a six-week opportunity for children, teens and adults to complete reading logs and win prizes.
Adults who complete their reading logs will be entered to win a grand prize at the end of the summer.
Library branches across Harnett County will also hold weekly events to celebrate their rockin’ readers. These events will include craft programs, movie days and programs for the family with entertainers ranging from magicians to rock bands. All library programs are free and open to the public.
The Book Babies program, for children up to 18 months old, will be held Mondays at 10 a.m. from June 18 until July 23 at the library in Lillington. The toddler time, for ages 18 months to 3 years old, will be Wednesdays at 10 a.m. from June 20 until July 25.
The preschool program, for children between the ages of 3 and 5, will be Thursdays at 11 a.m. from June 21 to July 26.
Teen programs and activities will be held Thursday nights at 6 beginning June 21.
Children in the Anderson Creek community can enjoy story time in the park. The story time will be held at the Anderson Creek Park which is located on Nursery Road. The story time in the park activities will be held Fridays at 10:30 a.m.
There will also be family activities throughout the summer. Movies, talent shows, magic and nature programs will highlight the calendar.
Current head librarian Angela McCauley expects large crowds to attend all the events.
“It has continued to grow every year and we get more and more participation,” Mrs. McCauley said. “We keep coming up with new programs to attract more people.”
More than 4,300 people attended summer reading programs in Harnett County last summer. There were over 36,000 children’s books checked out. Mrs. McCauley said she is expecting record participation this year.
For more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.harnett.org/library.
Young children in the Benson area will also have the opportunity to enjoy programs at the Mary Duncan Public Library. The reading program at the library kicked off last week and will be ongoing throughout the summer months.
Mondays will feature story time for children ages 3 to 5 at 10 a.m. There will be craft time for children ages 9 to 13 Wednesdays at 2 p.m.
Fridays throughout the summer will feature special events including marionette shows, folk songs, puppet shows, magic shows and other events. The Friday special programs will be held at 10 a.m. at the Benson Civic Center, which is located at 1204 N. Johnson St. The first program is this Friday with the Rumpelstiltskin marionette show scheduled to take the stage.
The Mary Duncan Public Library is located at 100 W. Main St. in Benson. For more information on library programs, call 919-894-3724.
The Sampson County library summer reading program will be held throughout the summer at libraries throughout the county. That will include the Bryan Library in Newton Grove.
The program will kick off Saturday with the Bright Star Touring Theater musical performance of Old MacDonald’s Sing-Along Farm at the J.C. Holliday Library in Clinton.
The Sampson County program is open to children in kindergarten through sixth grade. There will be one-hour programs at 2:30 p.m. at the local libraries. The program is Fridays in Newton Grove. The program is at the Roseboro library Thursdays, at the Garland library on Tuesdays, and Mondays in Clinton.
Anyone who wants more information on the Sampson County library program can contact Tiffany Savage at 910-592-4153.