Youths searching for something to do this summer should look no further than their community library.
Be Local means taking advantage of these summer reading programs that entertain while educating.
Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing this year, libraries across Pennsylvania are using the theme “SummerQuest: A Universe of Stories.’’ Libraries are offering reading incentives as well as weekly programs with activities, speakers and presentations.
For example, Uniontown Public Library’s upcoming programs include Humane Animal Rescue with animal visitors, Penn State Master Gardeners with “Gardening for Kids,’’ Stage Right Greensburg offering a production of “The True Story of the Cow Who Jumped Over the Moon’’ and Carnegie Science Center bringing space programs while Pittsburgh Zoo and Pittsburgh Puppet Works already made appearances.
“I try to bring things to Fayette County that some children might not get to do or see on their own,’’ said Diane McFeaters, children’s librarian, noting many programs are science-based. “It’s a way of giving experiences to children they don’t always get.’’
While visiting the library, youths can check out a book, use computers, do a craft or games, and participate in an art contest and treasure hunt.
Carnegie Free Library in Connellsville offers presentations that include Steve Haberman: Magic Show, Stage Right presents “Nuts in Outer Space,’’ and Carnegie Science Center, “Secrets of Sun and Space,’’ and Wild World of Animals. A backyard carnival and robotics were among programs already held.
In addition, Emily Nichelson, media director, explained the Carnegie offers a STEM program at 2 p.m. Wednesdays.
“We encourage parents to take their kids to the library over the summer months,’’ commented Nichelson. “Our reading program is about so much more than books, and we thank everyone from the community for making it great.”
Eva K. Bowlby Public Library in Waynesburg operates an all-day program, including lunch, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays for youths ages 6 to 12 in addition to programs for younger children.
“Last week, we had exploding paint pictures. It was quite fun and the kids loved it,’’ remarked Kathy McClure, director.
Explaining each week has a different theme, McClure noted youths wrote a poem about the universe and studied planets and the solar system.
And the library offers field trips to the Trolley Museum in Washington for preschoolers and Carnegie Science Center for older youths as well as a field trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo. Details are available at the library.
“We want to reduce the summer slide,’’ said McClure, explaining, “Children who participate in summer reading programs retain more material than those who do not participate.’’
There’s still plenty of time to take part in summer library programs. For more information, check local libraries.
Those interested in joining the Be Local Network can call 724-425-7515 or email email@example.com. Discount cards are available at the Herald-Standard, 8 E. Church St., Uniontown, and at the Greene County Messenger, 32 Church St., Waynesburg.