GRAVETTE -- The summer reading program at the Gravette Public Library is a resounding success. Karen Benson, library director, reported at the July meeting of the library advisory board that 128 children were signed up for the annual program. That number has now grown to 158. In addition to the youngsters involved, 13 teens and 33 adults are also participating in the program.
"Oceans of Possibilities" is the theme for the 2022 summer program which began July 1 and will continue through August 31. Programs with an ocean theme have been presented for the youngsters each Thursday at the Gravette Civic Center. Programs in past years have been held at the library but enrollment has grown so large that library rooms can no longer accommodate them.
Twenty-five volunteers have also signed on to help set up, prepare for and assist with programs. These include library patrons, parents of young participants, Lions Club members and members of the Bentonville-Bella Vista branch of Altrusa.
Recent programs for the youngsters have included presentations by meteorologist Dan Skoff and a couple of presentations by staff members from the Amazeum at Bentonville, Ocean Creatures and Circuit Creatures. The Thursday, Aug. 4, program is titled Flex Your Mussels and will be presented by Kendall Moles, a malacologist with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Stream Team. The programs will conclude with a magic show and celebration on Thursday, Aug. 11.
Readers of all ages are rewarded for time spent reading or the number of books read. The youngsters receive beads for time spent reading or being read to and many are filling necklaces with beads. Special beads in the shape of turtles, dolphins and seals are awarded for weekly challenge activities. Harper Young, age 3, has collected beads for 1,040 minutes read. Her mother, Alisha, and sisters Athena and Katilena are all participating in the reading program too. Calliope Power and Sara Holloway have each completed three reading logs (1,440 minutes).
Teens and adults are recording books read in a special reading log. When certain reading goals are met, they receive a punch card which is placed in a drawing for gift certificates and other prizes to be awarded on September 1.