GPL kicks off summer reading program

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By Kaitlin Hoskins, News Editor

The Gadsden Public Library has officially launched its summer reading program.

The program began on June 2, with a kickoff party at Underwood Park.

The party included free snacks, free resources, temporary tattoos and a large inflatable slide.

The summer reading program, designed to keep children engaged in reading and learning while school is on summer break, will continue through the month of June.

According to Allie Carter, the children’s department coordinator, about 200 individuals have registered for the program so far.

“There is no limit on how many kids we can take,” Carter said. “We’re doing really well this year. This is the biggest year we’ve seen since before COVID.”
Anyone can sign up for the program. Participants are not required to have a library card.

“They can read their own books or read books while they are here [at the library]. They just can’t check them out and take them home,” Carter said. “If, for some reason, they don’t want a library card, they can still participate.”

To keep the participants engaged, the library has set up weekly reading challenges. If the children complete the challenges, they will be eligible for that week’s prize.
Prizes include passes to The Factory, The Alley or Premiere Cinemas, as well as a snow cone machine, Lego kit and assorted toys.

The reading challenges are part of the program packet participants pickup at registration.

In addition to the reading challenges, participants can also participate in weekly events.

Every Friday at 10 a.m., the reading program will host an event either at the Gadsden Community Center or Underwood Park.

This Friday, June 9, participants will learn line dancing at the East Gadsden Community Center. On June 16, participants will learn about dynamic science at the East Gadsden Community Center. On June 23, participants will try hula hooping at the East Gadsden Community Center. Finally, on June 30, the library will celebrate the end of the summer reading program with a finale party at Underwood Park.

Carter said the fun events will not end when the program ends. The children’s department has several events planned for the month of July as well.

The most anticipated one for July is a Fourth of July party which will include a story time performed by Gadsden Mayor Craig Ford. The Fourth of July celebration at the library will take place on July 3 at 10 a.m at the main branch of the library located at 254 South College Street.

Every Friday throughout the month of July will also see fun events. At 10 a.m., visitors can learn all about different instruments. On July 7, visitors will learn about steel drums; on July 14, guitars; on July 21, Ukuleles; and on July 28, Kazoos.

In addition to the Friday musical events, visitors can take part in junior chess club from 2-3 p.m. every Tuesday, except July 4, when the library is closed.

For more information on the summer reading program or any other Gadsden Public Library programs, call 256-549-4699. Individuals interested in the summer reading program can register over the phone, in person or by messaging the Gadsden Public Library’s Children’s Department Facebook page.

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