By Jason Wesseldyk
Students from Otsego Public Schools and Plainwell Community Schools are officially on summer break.
And that means, among other things, it’s time once again for the summer reading programs at the two local libraries.
The theme for Otsego District Library’s program is “Sweet Summertime Stories,” and is open to children from birth through teens.
Registration began Monday, June 12, with sign-ups continuing until Saturday, July 8. The program runs through Saturday, July 29.
The Candyland Kick-Off event is scheduled for Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. until noon, with attendees able to enjoy games, crafts, bounce houses, an inflatable slide, popcorn and cotton candy.
Participants who finish their reading goal will get a finisher bag of prizes that includes a book of choice donated by the Friends of the Library along with coupons for free pizza and ice cream.
Participants can also enter to win one of three “Sweetest Grand Prizes” that includes a Meijer gift card ($300, $200 or $100) along with a Squishmallow, a pool float and a pillow. Four additional “Sweet Grand Prize Picks” will be available, with participants choosing the one they hope to win.
The library will also host special events for children of all ages throughout the summer beginning the week of June 19 at the following times: 0 to 24 months on Mondays at 10 a.m.; 0 to 5 years on Wednesdays at 10 a.m.; preschool to fifth grade on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. (note: the July 25 event will be at 11 a.m.) and Thursdays at 10 a.m.; tweens and teens on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. and Thursdays at 2 p.m.
There will be no programs on Monday, July 3, or Tuesday, July 4, due to Independence Day.
In addition, Otsego Public Library is hosting a Scholastic Book Fair until Friday, June 30.
For more information, visit otsegolibrary.org.
Ransom District Library in Plainwell, meanwhile, is using the theme “All Together Now” for its summer reading program, which began on Monday, June 5. The program continues through Thursday, Aug. 3.
The program features participation options for both children and adults.
“This year, we’re focusing on activities where children—and adults—can collaborate to have fun,” Ransom assistant director Erin Marsh said. “Examples of this are our Collaborative Canvas Project, where anyone of any age can take a canvas and decorate it. The only rule is that it has to portray the theme of summer.
“Other collaborative activities include making friendship bracelets, a team scavenger hunt for teens and a letter exchange with the Huntsville-Madison County Library in Madison, Alabama.”
Ransom’s program includes two components for children and teens, with participants able to do one or both.
“These two challenges allow kids to set and complete their own goals,” Marsh said. “Prizes will be awarded to participants throughout the summer.”
One component is “Read Five,” for which participants can earn prizes for reading five books. This challenge can be completed up to 10 times during the summer.
The other component is the “Summer Fun Board.”
“These boards have fun activities for kids to do,” Marsh said. “There are 16 squares. When all 16 are complete, kids can choose a prize from the prize box and their name will be entered into a prize drawing.”
Prize winners will be announced at the end of the summer.
Adult participants of Ransom’s summer reading program will receive a Ransom District Library tote bag by reading five books. Each additional book read will earn an entry into a drawing for the Grand Prize Summer Basket.
And in keeping with the “All Together Now” theme, the monthly book clubs for adults will explore other cultures with the Passport Pages series. July’s book will be “Swing Time” by Zadie Smith and August’s book will be “The Henna Artist” by Alka Joshi.
Each book will be offered at two different times, once in the morning with our Brunch Hour Book Club and once in the evening with our With a Twist Book Club to accommodate different schedules.
“Adults are also encouraged to write postcards to the Huntsville-Madison County Library in Madison, Alabama as a part of our Mail Together Now program,” Ransom head of patron services Analiese Mattson said. “We will have postcards available at the café until Friday, June 16. We will meet again on Monday, July 10 to read the responses from the other library and to write another letter.”
Details about the summer calendar events and reading program registration can be found at Ransom District Library or online at www.ransomlibrary.org.
By Jason Wesseldyk