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Buttons, Books and Best SRP

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Before we say our final farewell to summer, I'd like to congratulate and thank all of the library's 2011 Summer Reading Program (SRP) participants, teen assistants, and volunteers. Because of them, the library was able to host seven professional performances in addition to a regional author visit by Clare Hodgson Meeker and our kick-off musical guest, Dana Lyons.

Friday Harbor Elementary School once again generously allowed us to host weekly performances on their premises and the Friends of the Library provided the financial support to make the Summer Reading Program possible. Our two teen assistants did an outstanding job, working with the children and staff to implement and plan programs, including our final teen event and party.

Other volunteers, too many to list in this column, gave their support and creative ideas. Some gave it through pure muscle power (moving tables and equipment) or by gently guiding children through the process (registration, prizes, and finding materials.) And Kathy Babbitt, I’m now certain you are indeed San Juan Island’s Fairy Godmother. As always, you are magical. You waved your wand and spread goodness and cheer to all the island’s children. Thank you!

In total, 375 children and teens participated this year, making it the library’s biggest SRP to date. We especially saw an increase in the number of pre-school and kindergarten participants. Last year 113 children registered in this category as compared to 168 this year. That is wonderful news in my book. It’s great to see this age group participating in a program that highlights books, library services, and sharing stories, all three of which can be used to help youngsters build critical early learning skills and support family literacy.

Over a period of seven weeks, children read on their own or with assistance a recorded 96,280 minutes. We also counted the number of chapter books children read on their own by selecting a button for every book. Indigo Buck started the project off with the first button. By the end of the summer there were 637 buttons in our glass jar. Wow, that’s a lot of chapter books. Congratulations readers! The buttons will be sewn on our Native American button blanket and displayed in the library.

Here are a few photos that hopefully capture the spirited fun we had during the summer. I know I personally had a great time seeing and interacting with all of you. Best of everything for the new school year!

The library will now resume its regular schedule of children and teen programs. First up is our book club for grades 5th-8th on Saturday, Oct. 1 and Kathy Babbitt’s popular After School Read Aloud will begin Monday, Oct. 3. Registration for both programs is required, as space is limited. Please call 378-2798 or stop by the library to register your child. Sign-up begins Friday, Sept. 2 at 10 AM.

Happy Reading!

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