Free books and entertainment, plenty of air conditioning and the chance to win prizes---there’s much to like about the summer reading programs hosted by the Mansfield Public Library.Through the end of July, the library will host a series of special guest presentations designed for kids ages 3-6 and 7-11. Scheduled topics include “Zoouniversity,” “The Gingerbread Man,” “Xtreme Kids” and “Dig Up a Good Book.”Kids who finish a prescribed amount of books, which they can track on reading logs provided by the library, will earn prizes like a circus voucher or a day pass for Hawaiian Falls. Teens and adults who want to complete a reading log are eligible for prizes as well.“We offer the programs so that kids can have a special day each week when they come to the library,” said Annette Weber, an assistant city library who manages the facility’s youth services. “We want to keep the traffic steady, keep them reading over the summer.”Besides the presentations, the library also hosts a weekly Spanish-English story time for kids ages 3-6, a story time for infants and toddlers and an off-site reading program held at area food pantries as part of a summer feeding program.To help preschoolers get an early start on reading, the library is sponsoring a new program, “1,000 Books by Kindergarten,” which encourages parents to read one book a day to their child for three years, or three books a day for one year.“Kids who don’t come to kindergarten ready to read tend to be a bit behind, and those who aren’t reading on grade level by third grade are at risk for late graduation, or never graduating at all,” Weber said. “We provide information and reading logs, and we host a special graduation for those parents and kids who complete the program.”If you’ve got a younger child that’s less than enthusiastic about reading, you might want to check out the library’s “Paws to Read” program, which gives kids the opportunity to read to specially-trained dogs accompanied by professional handlers.“It’s a program for reluctant readers, who enjoy the attention and interaction they get from the dog while they are reading the dog the book,” Weber said. “The handlers are trained to help the kids with their reading, by correcting pronunciation and asking comprehension questions. But some of the kids think the dog is helping them, and it’s very cute.”
Mansfield Library Summer Reading Programs
Mansfield Public Library
104 S. Wisteria St.
Through July 26