The Gravette summer reading program is a success

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GRAVETTE — The summer reading program at the Gravette Public Library is a great success. 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 grown to 158. In addition to the young people involved, 13 teenagers and 33 adults are also taking part in the programme.

“Oceans of Possibilities” is the theme of the 2022 summer program which kicked off July 1 and will run through August 31. Ocean-themed programs were presented to youth each Thursday at the Gravette Civic Center. Past years’ programs have been held at the library, but enrollment has grown so much that the library halls can no longer accommodate them.

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. Thursday, August 4’s program is called Flex Your Mussels and will be presented by Kendall Moles, a malacologist with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Stream team. The programs will conclude with a magic show and celebration on Thursday, August 11.

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 that is placed in a draw for gift certificates and other prizes to be awarded on September 1.


Catherine Holloway, a member of the Friends of the Gravette Public Library, and library clerk Brittany Mangold pose next to an illustration of a shark signed by participants in the library’s summer reading program session on Thursday July 7 28. Children aged three to five were celebrating Shark Week and participating in shark-themed activities.




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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Participants ages three to five in Gravette Public Library’s summer reading program listen to a story read by library volunteer Maria Pinto. The children were celebrating Shark Week and Maria was reading “Sharks”, a National Geographic Kids book. 158 young people registered for this year’s program on the theme “Oceans of possibilities”.




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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND Summer Reading Program participant Harper Young, 3, and her mother Alisha pose during the Shark Week session Thursday, July 28 at the Gravette Civic Center. Students receive beads for reading or reading time and Harper has collected beads for 1,040 hours of reading. She filled a necklace with beads and had returned for a second necklace to start collecting more beads before the program ended on August 11.




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Westside Eagle Observer/SUSAN HOLLAND The tables in the Great Central Hall of the Gravette Civic Center are filled with young readers and volunteers during the “Oceans of Possibilities” session of the Gravette Summer Reading Program on Thursday, March 28. Thursday’s program was presented by staff from the Amazeum in Bentonville and volunteers included members of the Bentonville/Bella Vista chapter of Altrusa.



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