LAUINBURG — It is once again time for the Scotland County Memorial Library’s Summer Reading Program.
Activities include programs on snakes and creepy critters, night predators, fantasies in literature, unique animals, dream jobs and magic.
“Wondering how to keep your family busy and happy this summer? The Summer Reading Club with all of its associated activities is absolutely free, offering everyone safe, educational opportunities throughout the summer,” said Leon Gyles, library director.
Ahead of the summer series’s start, the library hosted a Community Day this week to make children and parents aware of some of the options for activities this summer. Numerous organizations, clubs, and camps from all over the county were on hand while different county and city departments shared safety tips and activities.
Children of all ages could be seen walking, some running, to get to the library parking lot to see what was in store, as parents tried to catch up. About 250 people participated.
“It went great. It was a higher attendance this year,” said Denise Dunn, youth services librarian. “The weather held up and we didn’t have a storm … it was wonderful.”
The Scotland Literacy Council hosted a scavenger hunt with children challenged to find something beginning with each letter of the alphabet at each table.
Members of the Scotland County Historical Properties Commission displayed pieces of clay pottery as well as old tools from the Historic John Blue House and Heritage Center. The biggest attraction seemed to be an antique water pump.
Leon Butler, who serves on the commission, said he would like for more people visit the John Blue House and see all of the items on display. He happily showed the young and the young at heart how to get water from the pump.
Officials also stressed the importance of continuing to read throughout the summer. The theme of this year’s summer program is “On Your Mark … Get Set … Read!”
“Children who lose reading skills over the summer will be two years behind their classmates by the end of sixth grade,” Gyles said. “The Summer Reading Club encourages children to read whatever they want, which helps instill a love of reading for recreation.”
The program has partnered with the Community Read featuring “The Call of the Wild” by Jack London. Copies were given out as gift during Community Day.
The summer series officially kicks off on Wednesday with magician Jeff Jones.
The first show is at 10:30 a.m. and the second at 1:30 p.m. The “electrifying” 40-minute performance combines state of the art illusions and special effects. It also includes audience participation, doves and a rabbit, ” with comedy wrapped in one high-energy performance.”
“This program features family-friendly humor and mind-blowing magic,” Gyles said. “This is an event that will be talked about for years to come.”
Coming up in the summer series:
— On June 30, The Bright Star Touring Theatre will perform at at 10:30 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. Live theater in the library will feature renditions of Aesop’s fables. Loaded with audience participation and an endless stream of laughs – this show will should leave children and adults wanting more.
— On June 30, Dr. Bruce Durie will provide a program at 6 p.m. about “Scottish Roots and Routes.” As an author, broadcaster and lecturer, who started and ran the much-acclaimed Professional Postgraduate Program in Genealogical, Heraldic and Palaeographic Studies at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. His BBC Radio Scotland series “Digging up Your Roots” and “A House With a Past” have attracted rave reviews and a solid listener following. He will discuss the Scottish heritage of Scotland County.
— On July 6, Tyris Jones, a Laurinburg native, will present a storytelling program at 2 p.m. He will share, tall tales, folk tales and original stories. He also stresses the importance of reading to children and parents alike.
— On July 13, the Mad Scientist will be on hand at at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The visit will include hands-on science experiences for children that are as entertaining as they are educational. Mad Science encourages scientific literacy in children in an age when science is as vital as reading, writing and arithmetic.
— On July 20, Ron Cromer with ‘Snakes Alive’ will return with programs at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. This two-part program involves an orientation lecture, and a ‘hands-on’ session. The lecture includes a slide presentation which is coordinated with a discussion of various topics. The ‘hands-on’ session is an opportunity to hold and pet more than a dozen tamed snakes. A ‘snake-free’ zone will be provided for those unable to take part in the petting session.
— On July 21, Dr. Thomas J. Leach, retired dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, will present a program at 6 p.m. about Jack London in literature and give a brief discussion on the book “The Call of the Wild.” Copies of “The Call of the Wild” will be available as a gift for those in attendance.
— On July 27, the Carolina Raptor Center will present the program “Predators of the Sky” at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on . Hawks, owls, and an eagle will be featured and admission is free. This program will help participant discover a kinship with native wildlife and learn what makes raptors unique in the avian world. Check out the many books the library offers on birds of prey and North Carolina wildlife.
For information, call 276-0563 or visit www.scotlandcounty.org/library.
Reach Maria Grady and Scott Witten at 91-276-2311.