VIENNA – Children laughed with joy at the Vienna Public Library on Tuesday during an interactive tour of “The lady with the turtles” to launch the library’s annual summer reading program.
“Some geckos do not have eyelids” says Nancy Lockhard, “The lady with the turtles” as she taught over 30 children between two different sessions about different reptiles and amphibians that are popular pets or native to the Ohio River area.
“What?!” a little girl in the audience exclaimed, incredulous, and the whole room burst into contagious laughter.
The Vienna Public Library’s summer reading program for 2021 runs from June 1 to July 31, mostly virtual but with weekly sessions at the library. The theme is “Tails and tales” which is animal themed and plans to inspire kids to read and learn about many types of creatures.
“How do I know these things?” “ Lockhard said as she held a chameleon and taught children about the diets, environments and behavior of amphibians and reptiles. “Because I read it in a book.”
Tracey Simonton, Children’s Services Coordinator at the Vienna Public Library, highlighted a variety of special weekly events that will take place during the program period.
“It is a good incentive to make children read during the summer holidays” said Simonton.
Whether it’s a Build-A-Bear style event for your own animal or a visit from designer Jeff Nichols who will be drawing with the kids, each week will have a fun option for the kids to get together.
The Summer Reading Program will also offer raffle prize opportunities through the used reading journal system, Beanstack, which is an application-accessible and online reading challenge software.
“You save your minutes, and for every hour you read, you get a ticket” said Simonton. âEvery ticket you place in a draw, then we’ll draw prizes on July 31st. “
The fun prizes are for all ages and range from Lego sets to karaoke machines. A late summer reading will also be organized, with each child receiving a free book.
For more information on how to register with Beanstack and log minutes, see the link available on the Vienna Public Library Facebook page.
Lockhard and her affectionately nicknamed husband Steve “Sir. Lady Turtle”, have been showing their critters to students at schools and libraries in Ohio and West Virginia for over 20 years.
As of Tuesday, there were 20 turtles, two toads, four bearded dragons, two geckos, two corn snakes, a sand boa and a chameleon.
“My favorite part is listening to the children laugh, I love to make them laugh” Lockhard said. “I meet these kids two years later and they can still tell me what they have learned.”