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Dive Right In: Explore ‘Oceans of Possibilities’ at GBPL
Children do a wiggle-dance to “Shake Your Sillies Out” with Miss Amy, children’s librarian at the Great Bend Public Library, during Tuesday’s storytime. - photo by photos by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Those who missed last week's kickoff to the Great Bend Public Library’s summer reading program can still sign up for prizes and mark their calendars for fun events over the next two months, said Amy Mayhill, children’s librarian.

In her “Miss Amy” persona, Mayhill donned a funny wig Tuesday and led young children in a wiggle-dance before diving into the first Whale Tales Storytime. All of this year’s activities have a beach or nautical motif to go with the theme “Oceans of Possibilities.”

“This year we split the storytime into two age groups,” Mayhill said. “We thought it would be best to give the older kids something for their age. It’s at the same time so families don’t have to make two trips.”

Storytime for babies, preschoolers, and children getting ready to go into the first grade this year is upstairs at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays. Older children in grades 2-5 are downstairs.

Children can also visit the library from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Mondays to read aloud to Luna, a Burmese Mountain Dog trained to listen to their stories. Children can read to her for 10-15 minutes, depending on how many are there to take turns, and the child who logs the most minutes of reading to Luna this summer will win a subscription to National Geographic Kids magazine.

Children, teens and adults can earn prizes this summer by checking out materials or achieving other library goals, Mayhill said. For children who haven’t started reading yet, parents can pick up an activity form with suggestions such as “make a fort to read in” or “play peek-a-boo.” Complete the activities and turn in the form after June 27 to win a prize.

Older kids keep track of the number of minutes they read. After 500 minutes they can “go fish” for a prize and at 1,000 minutes they can go to the “deep sea” to fish for a bigger prize, Mayhill said. Everyone can earn a pizza, a free book, a deep sea prize and a ticket to a pool party at the Wetlands Waterpark early in August.

Adults can also be entered for prize drawing and they can earn a ticket for the pool party.

The “teens” – which includes kids who will be in sixth grade and up this year, have reading goals and activity goals. They can earn library bucks that they will be able to use later at an auction for prizes.

Here are some of the prizes available through the summer reading program.