Grapevine Public Library’s Summer Reading Club 2015 had a heroic kickoff with its Kids’ Comic Con Kick-Off on June 5-6.
Coinciding with the theme “Every hero has a story,” the event featured two days of super fun with Mega Balloon Sculptures with Jason Vaughn, a balloon artist who created massive superhero balloons.
Superhero appearances for photo ops and autographs included Superman, Captain America, Spider-Man and Batman.
The reading program was one of many across Northeast Tarrant that encourage kids to read during their summer vacation.
At the Adventures of Super Banana Puppet Show, brave Super Banana was on a mission to save the bananas. And he did.
For older kids, a favorite was Comic Books 101 with Eli Lane from Area 51 Gaming and Collectibles in Grapevine. Participants learned about the history of comics and some background on their favorite characters.
“Comic books are reading, too,” Lane said. “They are very important in pop culture and what’s going on in the world socially and economically. Kids don’t realize they are picking up a little history. And comic books have changed over the years by adding more text. It’s almost the same text as a chapter of a book.”
In the Children’s Program Room, kids of all ages got to go back in time and see how superheroes used to look as the library showed classic episodes.
“Read to the Rhythm” is the theme of the city’s summer reading program.
A June 5 party signaled the official opening of the Rock Star Room, where kids 12 and under can register to earn prizes for the books they read and listen to this summer.
“We have very elaborate decorations in the Rock Star Room,” said Mary Rodne, library and recreation director. “We have gossamer, a big sign lined out in lights, a silhouette of a drummer, a prize wheel and a prize drawing box that looks like a guitar and speaker.”
The evening featured a VIP selfie-style photo op and children’s crafts.
The summer reading program is open to children, teens and adults. Ages 12 and under are in the children’s category. Teens are ages 13-18. Adults are 19 and over.
Prizes include a summer reading T-shirt and a goodie bag for the first eight books read, and more prizes are available, Rodne said.
The city, which prides itself on having thousands of library cards issued, is promoting its Summer Haslet Reading Club with prizes.
There are two reading logs to choose from. Readers use the log to track his or her reading, then turn it in for a prize.
All reading logs must be turned in to library by Aug. 8. The library will do a drawing for winners among the reading logs for fun, themed prize packs, which include children, teen and adult categories.
Last year the program featured one event and due to its popularity will offer two and sometimes three programs each week.
Youth Services Librarian Amy Stafford said the library, which opened in 2008, is a highlight of the community.
“We are bursting at the seams,” she said. “I don’t think anyone knew how fast we would grow.”
She added that they proudly “give library cards to any Texas resident who has an ID.”
The summer reading program is an important part of a child’s development, she said.
“I tell children you need to exercise your body to be strong and your mind [to be mentally strong],” Stafford said.
The city’s popular Summer Reading Club is once again available for all ages. Participate in the children, teen or adult Summer Reading Club programs to earn prizes.
Register in person in the library lobby to start tracking your reading, program participation and online activity. Work towards earning prizes like candy, coupons and gift certificates.
Anyone can register for the reading program. Everyone who participates and meets the criteria gets a certificate at the end of the program.
Library director Jana Prock said the reading program will help participants stay on track with reading while away from school.
“Reading just five books over the summer can prevent summer reading loss for students,” she said.
The library’s summer reading program is featuring prizes for every five hours read. Turn minutes in through Aug. 8.
The program is open to all ages and the prize party will be at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 22 at the library. Comic books, audio books, magazines and blogs count, too.
The grand prize will be a PlayStation 4, thanks to GameStop Corp., a global, multichannel video game, consumer electronics and wireless services retailer headquartered in Grapevine.
“We count all reading,” said Geoff Sams, library manager. “The practice of reading is really the most important part about it, especially in the digital age. People are glued the screen all day. It’s really important.”
Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367
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