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Summer reading programs start Monday
new slt summer reading
Dan Dan the Magic Man performs for a young audience at the Claflin Independent Township Library in this 2012 photo. Magic Man Dan Heath will take part in summer reading programs again this summer, starting with a show at 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Great Bend Public Library. - photo by Tribune file photo

The Great Bend Public Library has a new look going into the summer reading programs. The front desk has moved and the Children’s Department has been refurnished.
This year’s summer programs start Monday and continue through July 20. Throughout the summer, the library will hold checkout contests for prizes for children, teens and adults.
“Summer reading clubs play a vital role in counteracting what researchers dub the ‘summer slide,’ when students lose, on average, about one month of instruction,” said Jennifer King, Young Adult and Marketing librarian. “Libraries across the country strive to help reduce the effects of this loss by providing access to books during the summer combined with reading incentives.”
“Dig Into Reading” is the theme for this year’s children’s program. The theme will be celebrated with visits from the Wetlands Education Center and the Rolling Hills Zoo. There will also be movies, Bingo, Touch-a-Truck and an Outdoor Water Day. Children will track their reading progress throughout the summer by either recording the number of books they read or the hours. Everyone gets a prize when they reach their reading goal.
Teens are invited to look “Beneath the Surface” this summer with plenty of movies, game days, and other events, such as Comic Book Coasters, Newsprint Nails, a lock-in and a food fight. Stop by the Teen Spot at 3 p.m. Monday through Friday because there will be something to do every day, King said. To win prizes throughout the summer, earn points for pages read in any format: from traditional books and graphic novels to e-books and audio books. Community points are also awarded for teens that play summer sports, volunteer, hold a summer job or are otherwise active in the community.
Adults this year are celebrating “Groundbreaking Reads” with extra movies and door prizes. The program tracks number of books read. There will also be a program this summer sponsored by Charter Funerals, “Planning Your Groundbreaking: Funeral and Burial Choices.”
Programs are free thanks to sponsorship from the Friends of the Library and local businesses and organizations.
Earlier this year the Children’s Department at the library received a $1,100 grant from the Golden Belt Community Foundation, made possible by the Kansas Health Foundation Youth Endowment and a donation from the Don Miller Endowment Memorial Fund. The grant was used to refurnish the children’s area of the library with log furniture, including a chair, love seat, sofa, tables and a rocker.