CENTERVILLE — Dear Editor,
We have had another wonderful summer of reading at Drake Public Library.
The Summer Reading Program broke through last year’s numbers and registered 214 children for the reading program, an increase of more than 50 children.
For each of the first 10 hours a child read, they earned a prize and at 10 hours, they could put their name in for our finale drawing for some larger prizes. Every 10 hours read after that earned them another chance in the drawing. In total, the children read 1,650 hours.
This program wouldn’t be a success without the help of the staff at Drake Public Library, Friends of Drake Public Library, and many volunteers and parents who donated time and money for the program.
Our programming started off with a “special surprise guest” coming to Storytime. Faith, a Newfoundland, being trained as a service dog by Jan Christopher and Sharon West, showed off her tricks and sat in on Storytime with us. The children got to pet Faith and she performed her commands for us. She was a hit.
StarLab is a self-contained planetarium experience where the kids can learn more about the night sky. First Presbyterian Church hosted StarLab in their fellowship hall and Friends of Drake Public Library purchased the program. Children 6 and older were able to hear and see the stories of the constellations during this program.
Sharon Bluffs State Park is a wonderful local site. The children were able to explore the Nature Center and got to meet the birds of prey on the nature trail. Amber Hoffman, park naturalist, gave us a tour and the few of us who braved the high temperatures during this program, enjoyed it very much.
Lisa Eddy hosted our group on a tour of the newly remodeled Appanoose County Coal Miner Museum. The volunteers there showed the children what it was like working and living in Appanoose County over a century ago with this tour. We learned about coal mining, clothes, doctors’ offices, schools and we each got a key to unlock a bank’s lock box and find a treasure inside.
Dan Wardell is a familiar face to anyone who supports IPTV and Drake Public Library was a stop on his yearly public library tour. The kids (and parents) were all so excited to have him perform a storytime for us. He reminded all of us to “shut off the TV, use our imagination, go outside and play, and read a good book” each and every day. Dan and his helper, Mary, also gave out frisbees for each of the kids and donated a few frisbees as prizes for our end of summer drawing.
Ronald McDonald the clown was sure a hoot. Our local McDonald’s restaurant paid for his visit to Drake Public Library as well as his visit to Moravia Public Library. Boy, were we glad that we went for it with this program. Ronald had us laughing for the whole show and we all had a wonderful time with him.
We had our bowling party finale on Saturday at Adams Bowl. The kids, from toddlers to teens, got to bowl. Dennis Schwering donated the bowling alley to us for the party. I overheard many families asking Dennis about open bowling times so maybe he’ll get some new regular customers. Our prize drawing was held during the party as well. We had a lot of winners. The prizes included two bikes (with safety gear), a scooter (with safety gear), Chamber of Commerce gift certificates, Frisbees from IPTV, two 3D puzzles, a Star Wars Lego set, a King Tut learning DVD, a 250 piece art kit, a book of puzzles and a Scholastic Top Secret Game.
On Monday, Aug. 6. the Friends of Drake Public Library sponsored a visit from Blank Park Zoo. They brought some special animals to visit the library. Special toddler and preschool programs were held and a show for school age children was also held.
Once again, I need to thank a community of supporters who help us provide a summer full of fun and reading for the children of Centerville and the surrounding towns. Thank you all so much.
JeNel Allen Barth
Drake Public Library