Robey Memorial Library completes successful Summer Reading Program

The “Build a Better World” Summer Reading Program (SRP) 2017 at Robey Memorial Library in Waukon has come to an end. The program involved a number of different activities and events for library patrons to take part in.

Family Night was held Monday, July 10 to kick off the SRP. Opening the program was favorite story lady Sue Kiesau and her beloved puppets. "Sue is a local legend with our young patrons and they are always anxious to hear her read," shared Robey Memorial Library leaders.

A special highlight of the evening was a Tool Petting Zoo, a hands-on event to familiarize kids with simple tools and equipment. Keith Bresnahan of A-OK Well Service brought the company's pump truck, allowing attendees to raise and lower a basket of library furry friends by remote control. Family Night was also the start of the registration for the library's 4-Week Reading Challenge.

The 4-Week Reading Challenge ran from July 10-August 5. All were encouraged to read at their own pace and at their own reading level. Each participant added to the “Build Better Readers” bulletin board by putting up a brick for each 15 minutes read. Prizes were given for each week of participation. “Library Champion” signs were given to children to display at their homes; local residents or visitors may have seen these around town.

Teens were encouraged to read and participate in various activities, such as attending library and community events and reading at least 50 pages of an author or genre never read before. Of the six teen participants signed up, three teens read a total of 4,545 minutes.

As in other years, the Kid’s Reading Challenge was divided into three categories of readers. Category 1: Infant-Kindergarten (18 participants read a total of 7,220 minutes); Category 2: First grade-Third grade (10 participants read a total of 6,255 minutes); Category 3: Fourth grade-Sixth grade (six participants read a total of 4,320 minutes).

In the four weeks of the program, 34 participants read a total of 17,795 minutes. The top readers in each of three categories are as follows:

Category 1: Eddie Hay (1,680 minutes);
Category 2: Moriah Downing (1,740 minutes);
Category 3: Aiden Gerst (1,980 minutes).

Experience Prizes were a fun part of the SRP, giving the kids added incentive to read. For each week of participation and for each additional five hours read, their name could be added to a drawing of their choice: Allamakee County Museum Tour, Waukon Fire Department Tour (including a ride on a fire truck), five free books from the Robey Memorial Library Foundation Book Sale, and Ice Cream with the Librarian. Winners of the Experience Prizes were Barrett Gibbs, Mitch Benzing, James Downing and Natalie Byrnes.

Teen’s and Kid’s Make and Take was held each Wednesday afternoon during the SRP. Weekly crafts for the kids included a Crazy Hair Planter, a Newspaper Tower, 3-D Birdhouse and a Wax Crayon Print, and projects for the teens were CD Scratch Art, Mini Succulent Garden, T-Shirt Bag and Pop-up Greeting Cards. A total of 61 youth participated in the craft projects.

Summer Explorers Series, held Wednesdays in June and August, kept participants busy and learning something new. A total of 223 children and adults attended the fun, fast-paced programs. Programs and presenters included: Making Kaleidoscopes with Ellie, Children’s Librarian; Renewable Energy/Solar Cars and Wind Turbines with AmeriCorps Green Iowa; Building Bug Houses with Ross Geerdes of Allamakee County Conservation; Fun Food - Decorating Cupcakes and Cookies with Lynn Sorenson of Kitchen Krafts; Upcycled Art with Ellie, Children’s Librarian; and Soil and Water Conservation with Sara Berges of the Allamakee County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Tuesday Story Time continued each Tuesday morning from 10:30-11 a.m. with a total of 220 attendees in attendance through the summer.

The Robey Memorial Library booth in the Pavilion at this year's Allamakee County Fair provided information about the library and services available. Special activities held included an interactive Story Walk of The Bugliest Bug by Carol Diggory Shields, where kids/families read a popular children’s book as they strolled through the Fairgrounds. Also, the library entertained kids at Kid’s Day activities making a Nature Weaving.

Robey Memorial Library and Postville Public Library hosted the Incredible Bats Meet-and-Greet, an up-close look at two different kinds of Fruit Bats and a live skunk named Bella. Incredible Bats is owned and operated by Dan and Sharon Peterson, Bat Naturalists, of Chicago, IL. They raise and show bats in an effort to promote their importance in the environment.

A special mention is being made of the business/organization sponsors who have supported this year’s Summer Reading Program. Much appreciation goes out to Keith Bresnahan/A-OK Well  Service (pump truck/Tool Petting Zoo), Cunningham Hardware (nails, screws, etc./Tool Petting Zoo), Hardees (food certificates), West Side Lumber (lathe and lumber/Tool Petting Zoo); the Experience Prize contributors of Allamakee County Historical Society, Waukon Fire Department and Robey Memorial Library Foundation; and the Summer Explorer Series presenters of Lynn Sorenson, Green Iowa staff, Ross Geerdes and Sara Berges.

Ellen Krousie, SRP Coordinator, attended a State Library-sponsored workshop last fall in preparation for the Summer Reading Program. The library's Facebook page has additional photos and information on upcoming events and book recommendations.

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