GRAVETTE — The summer reading program at the Gravette Public Library is a great success, according to library officials.
Karen Benson, director of the library, reported at the July library advisory board meeting that 128 children were enrolled in the annual program. This number has now risen to 158. In addition to the young people involved, 13 teenagers and 33 adults also participate in the programme.
“Oceans of Possibilities” is the theme of the 2022 summer program which began on July 1 and will run until August 31. Ocean-themed programs were presented to youth each Thursday at the Gravette Civic Center. Programs for the past few years have been held at the library, but enrollment has increased so much that library halls can no longer accommodate them, library officials said.
Twenty-five volunteers have also signed up to help set up, prepare and assist with the programs. These include library patrons, parents of youth participants, Lions Club members, and members of the Bentonville-Bella Vista branch of Altrusa.
Recent youth programs have included presentations by meteorologist Dan Skoff and a few presentations by staff from the Amazeum in Bentonville, Ocean Creatures and Circuit Creatures. The programs will conclude with a magic show and celebration on Thursday.
Readers of all ages are rewarded for time spent reading or number of books read. Young people receive beads for time spent reading or being read to, and many fill necklaces with beads. Special beads in the shape of turtles, dolphins and seals are awarded for weekly challenge activities. Three-year-old Harper Young collected beads for 1,040 minutes of playtime. Her mother, Alisha, and her sisters Athena and Katilena also participate in the reading program. Calliope Power and Sara Holloway each completed three reading diaries (1,440 minutes).
Teenagers and adults record books read in a special reading diary. When certain reading goals are met, they receive a punch card, which is placed in a draw for gift certificates and other prizes to be awarded on September 1.