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Summer reading at Western Pocono library

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    Valerie Kaufmann and Sharon Pickens-Swiney, the director and assistant director of children’s services, lead Tuesday’s first day of SummerQuest: Libraries Rock! During this nine-week summer reading program, children and young adults are encouraged to read at home and come to the library for stories, songs, special events, crafts, hands-on activities and outdoor games. STACI L. GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published July 03. 2018 10:33AM

On your mark, get set, and read!

It is that time of year again, as Western Pocono Community Library launched its nine-week summer reading program recently.

“It is great to see the kids taking out books and have something positive to do at home rather than watching television,” said Carol Kern, library director.

The program continues to grow and offer something new each summer, she said.

This year, SummerQuest: Libraries Rock! will focus on stories and activities that emphasize STREAMING — science, technology, reading, engineering, arts, machines, inventions, networking and games.

Programming for the baby through 7-year-old group includes stories, songs, craft, hands-on activities, time to read to a therapy dog, and games outdoors as weather permits.

“I love books,” said 4-year-old Eleanor Dougherty while gluing pages into a booklet about the five senses.

She and her twin sister, Evelyn, are spending a week with their grandma Chris Baldwin of Saylorsburg.

Michelle Altemose has brought her black Labrador retriever, Bear, to the library and Mrs. Bush’s Personal Care Home for four years. He will be 8 years old in September.

To date, he has logged 277 visits as a therapy dog. Children can practice their reading skills or simply show him the pictures as they make up a story.

“He loves having the children read to him. This is his first time doing the summer reading program,” said Altemose.

Those age 8 and up meet in the community room to do hands-on activities involving STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The group will also paint WPCL kindness rocks to take home and hide around town or when they go on vacation.

Participants of all ages will read at home and keep a log of their minutes. When they come to story hour, they hand in their log and can guess how many pieces of candy or snack are in that week’s container. The winners of each age group keep the container and the contents.

The program, which occurs during story time at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, 1 p.m. Wednesdays, and 6:30 p.m. Thursdays.

“Our goal is to make the community aware of our library and what we can do for them,” said Valerie Kaufmann, director of children’s services.

Special guest speakers will come throughout the summer. Katie Cottswold led an interactive play about Colonial Life on Wednesday afternoon.

Once again, the library has partnered with Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network to provide free lunches on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The library is one of six open access sites in the West End offering free lunches this summer. The others are: Chestnuthill Township park, Pleasant Valley Middle School, Ross Township park, Sun Valley rec center, and Pleasant Valley Elementary.

“If we are on par with last year, we will probably serve 11,000 to 12,000 meals this summer,” said Hope Christman, director of PVEN.

The lunch program began three years ago and served 3,365 meals. Last year, PVEN served 10,200 meals, she said. Tuesday’s lunch consisted of chocolate milk, ham and cheese sandwich, applesauce, and carrot sticks.

Log on to for the complete SummerQuest: Libraries Rock! schedule and information about special events.

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