By Margo Redlinger
Special to the Economist
SOLON– The Solon Public Library will take readers around the world during the Summer Reading Program– One World, Many Stories. The librarians are busy preparing exciting reading experiences for students to enjoy over their break from the classroom. This year’s theme is loaded with great books, fun activities and special programs. Participants who complete reading logs are also eligible for prizes.
The festivities will officially begin at the kick-off party from 5-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 2, launching the 2011 Summer Reading Program. Pick up everything you need including reading logs, T-shirt sheets and calendars of programming during the kick-off party. Refreshments will be provided by Hills Bank of Mt. Vernon.
A special kick-off party just for kids fifth grade and older will be held after hours at the library on Saturday, June 4, from 6:30-8 p.m. Pizza will be served during the showing of the movie, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” at the teen kick-off.
The Summer Reading Program is open to ages birth through high school for participation in the reading activity and/or the T-shirt challenge. The Summer Reading Program strives to develop a positive attitude about reading and enable children to strengthen their literacy skills. During the 2010 Summer Reading Program, there were a total of 375,860 minutes read by participants in the program.
From June 7 through July 13 there will be children’s programs every Tuesday and Wednesday. All programs and activities are free of charge. The programs will be listed in the newspaper, the Solon Public Library website, www.solon.lib.ia.us  and on the Summer Reading Program calendars available at the circulation desk.
Tuesday morning’s schedule includes Around The World Storytime at 10:30 a.m. for ages 2-5. Join us for songs, rhymes and crafts from all different countries. Siblings are invited, too. The first Storytime Summer Reading Program theme will be “Going On A World Tour.”
Teens On Tuesdays @ 2 is a 45-minute afternoon program for everyone fifth grade and up. There will always be a snack and books awarded as prizes each week. Beginning June 7, this program will get underway with a scavenger hunt. Test your team player and sleuthing skills and be the first team to reach the end to win a prize. Ice cream will be served to all participants.
Every Tuesday night will be Family Night events for caregivers and children of all ages. Each program will last approximately 45 minutes. June 7 will kick-off Family Night Tuesday programming with “Wild Animals With Torben Platt” at 6:30 p.m. Bring the family and join your friends! Torben’s wild animals include lizards, turtles, an alligator and at least one very big snake. Only the most daring sit in the front row and are brave enough to touch these creatures when given permission.
There will be special programs every Tuesday evening from June 7 through July 12, as well as the scheduled weekly activities.
Afternoon Adventurers at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays is especially designed for first through fourth graders. The Afternoon Adventurers will begin the One World, Many Stories tour with a Mosaic Masterpieces craft and the story behind it. Each Wednesday afternoon this age group will craft their way around the world.
On July 20, there will be a special program for the Afternoon Adventurers age group (grades 1-4) when The Old Capitol Doll Club presents a Mother-Daughter Tea at the library. The organization will present a program called “Grandma’s Trunk” that shows what different dolls are made of. There will be “tea” (beverages) and “treats” along with door prizes and goodie bags. This program will be limited to space available. Registration will be required.
New patrons are encouraged to sign up for their library card prior to the summer reading program registration to avoid the rush.
Summer Reading Program will conclude on July 23. All reading logs must be turned in by that date. Completed reading logs can be turned in for a small prize and then entered into the grand prize drawings to be held at the conclusion of the program. Grand prizes include tickets to area zoos, water parks, two iPod Nanos and more. There were 2,728 total prizes awarded during the 2010 Summer Reading Program. Prizes or funding for them is provided by many local businesses, Friends of the Solon Library, Solon State Bank and Solon Women’s Club.