York County libraries kick off summer reading program

Jason Addy

The school year is almost over, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to end.

The York County Library System announced the schedule for its summer reading and physical activity program last week, with more than 800 activities for children to take part in around the county.

Hannah Penn K-8 student Luis Galarza, 11, works on his thumb-wrestling ring project during the Martin Library sponsored summer reading program at Hannah Penn K-8 in York, Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

From Lego building to T-shirt designing, butterflies and insect presentations to yoga and Zumba, and outdoor scavenger hunts to board-game days, kids up to age 18 will have a plethora of options to keep their minds sharp and get outside this summer.

From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 3, the York County Library System will host three kickoff celebrations to mark the beginning of the summer reading and physical activity program, according to a news release.

Local magician Michael Thomas and Jesse Rothacker of Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary will be entertaining children and their parents at the Dover Township Community Center at 3700 Davidsburg Road.

Those who attend the kickoff celebration at the Guthrie Memorial Library at 2 Library Place in Hanover will be able to do karaoke, face painting and balloon art, while Marc Charisse performs authentic Civil War-era magic, according to the release.

Library and Byrnes center team up for summer camp

Kids who go to the celebration event at the Richard M. Nixon County Park can visit the nature center and indulge in a dog therapy session before heading off to search for the GO York! post hidden in the park.

“Summertime is a good time for children to improve their physical and mental fitness,” York County Libraries president Robert Lambert said in the release. “With school out, reading and learning shouldn’t stop. Our summer reading program is fun and great exercise for the mind.”

The program runs from June 3 to Aug. 20.

Program highlights: With more than 800 activities over the course of the 11-week program, every child should be able to find a few to participate in.

The program’s slate includes several special events that are bound to draw children and their parents to the libraries for a few hours.

Gifford Pinchot State Park will host the BetterWorld Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 15, when magician Michael Thomas and Froggy will be featured guests, according to the program schedule.

York City’s Martin Library is hosting a five-week introduction camp for hip-hop dancing, which runs 3:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, from June 27 through July 28, according to the schedule. Dance camp registration opens June 5.

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The Sciencetellers will take children on several pirating adventures, with presentations scheduled for 10 a.m. July 11 at the Glatfelter Memorial Library and 7 p.m. July 26 at the Red Lion Area Recreational Center.

Videographer Randy Flaum will lead a five-day workshop teaching kids how to tell their own stories using video. The sessions will be held July 10 through July 14 at the Red Land Community Library.

Beth Rebert will tell the story of Enemy Pie at eight libraries across the county, while The Monkey Man Jerry Brown will visit the Glatfelter Memorial Library in Spring Grove on June 14 and the Paul Smith Library of Southern York County in Shrewsbury on June 21, according to the schedule.

Rewards: Though there are hundreds of activities for children to do, the program is meant to encourage children to pick up books and keep their minds active during summer months.

For their efforts, children who log 400 reading-activity minutes during the program will receive a gift card for a free ice cream at Chick-fil-A locations. Kids who read for 600 minutes will get a free admission ticket to the Maize Quest Fun Park in New Park and two tickets — one child and one adult — to one of the Harrisburg Senators’ literacy nights in August.

Children with at least 800 reading-activity minutes will get a free ticket to the York Revolution’s reader celebration game Aug. 27. They will be in a parade through the infield before the start of the game, and the child with the most recorded reading-activity minutes will get the honor of throwing out the first pitch.

Early registration for the program is now open. Parents can register their children any time before the end of the program, though library officials suggest parents register children as soon as possible to give them the most time to rack up reading minutes and find GO York! posts.

When children register for the program, they will receive access to more than 800 programs at the 13 libraries in the county library system as well as a GO York! Blueprint book with clues to find the 30 posts scattered across county parks and other sites, according to the release.

To register, each child needs his or her own free library card, which makes it easy for parents to track their children’s reading activities and for the library system to reward reading achievements, the release states.