Bellwood-Antis Public Library announces summer reading program

The Bellwood-Antis Public Library announced its six-week summer reading game, “Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales” will begin this Monday and continue through July 20.
With the recent opening of the new children’s addition at the library, the timing worked out perfectly. Early on in the building process, librarian Hazel Bilka said the plan was to have the addition complete in time for the summer reading program.
Things worked out according to plan as the grand opening was held last weekend with a large number of area residents turning up to see the new addition.
According to a press release from the library, this year’s program, which has an animal-based theme, is guaranteed to motivate children of all ages as their imagination is tweaked with puzzles, games, story times, crafts, fun contests and most importantly, reading the many books available to them.
Research has shown that children who spend part of their summer reading are likely to maintain their reading skills when they return to school in the fall. Children will have the added incentive of earning prizes for their recreational reading.
Special activity hours will be held on Tuesdays throughout June and July, beginning at 7 p.m. The dates are June 13, 20 and 27 and July 5, 11 and 18. Note the special hours on Wednesday, July 5, due to the holiday.
Kids Week will wrap up with special activities July 24 through July 27.
Anyone who missed out on attending the grand opening is welcome to visit the children’s addition during regular library hours. The children’s summer reading program also offers a great opportunity to take advantage of the new space.
Children are invited to test out the new toys, including a kitchenette, a train table, blocks, dress-up costumes and stuffed animals. Many may also enjoy the child-sized furniture where they can curl up and listen to a parent or friend read a story.
Two of the four child-sized tables are covered with maps, one of the United States and one of the world.
The new computer area also promises to be a hit for research, along with fun games.
Another feature of the new addition that should be a big success with the youngsters is the large windows overlooking the railroad tracks behind the library. With each passing train, children can gather at the window to watch. Bilka explained the children love to see the trains go by and this will provide the opportunity for that to happen.
The new children’s area includes a story area, computer area, projection area and child-sized bookshelves surrounding the entire room.
A lot of child-sized furniture and toys were purchased for the new area thanks to a Family Place grant received by the library.
The new computers are strictly for children up to fourth grade.
There is also an area for sofas near the window and another area with rocking chairs for storytelling.
“We’re very excited about the children’s addition and we feel it will be such an asset to the area,” said Bilka, “and we’re really hoping the community will join in our efforts to raise money for this project.”
Regular library hours are Monday through Thursday from noon to 8:30 p.m., Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The library is closed on Sundays and holidays.
Anyone wishing to make a donation or who would like more information on programs offered at the library, contact 742-8234.