To rescue Eau Claire area kids from the summer slide, the public library is soliciting help of heroic proportions.
L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library recently kicked off its summer library program aptly dubbed “Readers to the Rescue” to encourage continued learning throughout the summer.
The comic book-themed programming includes year-round activities like story times for infants and youth and makes room for new features like book parties for kids of school age who can celebrate their fan favorites from beloved book series.
Jennifer Harrison and her daughter, 22-month-old Emma, visited the youth services program room on Tuesday to attend the Toddler Tales program for 2- and 3-year-olds that features stories, songs and other activities. About 50 children and adults grabbed color carpet squares and found seats on the floor, occasionally jumping up to perform song-and-dance routines.
“She loves that she gets to see other kids and people,” Harrison said of her daughter. “ We want her to get exposure to other kids because she’s just at home with us all day.”
One of the other programs, book parties, runs Tuesdays from June 23 to July 21 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Eau Claire Room at the library. The parties pivot around current popular series like “Magic Tree House,” “Pokemon,” “Warriors” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” Activities relating to the series of the day will be offered at different stations. Ashley Bieber, teen services coordinator and youth librarian, said children can drop by any time during the party.
“That’s in an effort to be more flexible,” she said.
Additionally, infants up to seniors in high school can register for a reading folder anytime between June 1 and Aug. 15. Based on the honor system, children fill up their folders by reading books at their levels — or by being read to for the youngest participants — and are then eligible for prizes.
Bieber said the Friends of the Library helped sponsor the prizes for the winners, who will receive a free book.
Already building up a following, Bieber said 900 kids signed up to participate in the summer program within the first week, followed by another 600 children the following week.
“That’s pretty standard,” she said, noting that the program reels in about 2,000 kids on average per summer. “A lot of them come right away.”
In addition to reading programs, the library also will sponsor performances each Wednesday from June 24 through July 22 that include a comedy science show, comedy juggling, a magician and a musician. The 40-minute programs are free with tickets that can be picked up at the library one week in advance of each performance.
On Thursdays throughout the same two-month period, demonstrations at 1:30 p.m. will teach students to dance, introduce them to survival strategies, train them in physical comedy and improv, teach them illustration techniques and introduce them to live animals. Free tickets are also available and required for participation.
To help with transportation, bus passes are available at the library that provide free rides to and from the library on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The pass is valid for children and teenagers from June 2 through Aug. 27.
For more information on adult and other teen programs, visit ecpubliclibrary.info or tinyurl.com/pgl4jqf or call 839-5007.
Dohms can be reached at 715-833-9206, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @EDohms_LT.