By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — With school nearing an end this year, C.E. Brehm Memorial Library's children's department is gearing up for its summer reading program to keep kids sharp in between grades.
This year's theme is "Have Book Will Travel," according to Children's Librarian Sharon Yearwood.
Registration for the summer reading program will begin on June 3 and continue through June 14. At the end of the program, on July 15, an awards program will be held to recognize readers who have completed required reading. For second- and third-graders, that will be 20 small chapter books; and for fourth- through seventh-graders it will require five larger chapter books of 100 pages or more.
In addition to the reading program, there will be three programs held on consecutive Mondays in June and three in July. The programs in June will be held at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and at 1 p.m. only during July. The programs are:
n June 10 — Sandi Sylver, a ventriloquist from the Illinois Arts Council from Aurora, with a program called "World Wind of Stories," using big-mouthed puppets, telling tales from around the world.
n June 17 — Mad Science, based out of St. Louis, will present "Fire and Ice," using experiments from fire and ice.
n June 24 — Fred Mooney and his feathered friends will present "Birds Around the World."
n July 1 — Richard Landry and his pet rabbit Snowball will present a magic show.
n July 8 — Jared Baker of Kentucky will present "Scales and Tails," which will include reptiles and amphibians from around the world, including live specimens.
"We just want the kids to read a little every day," said Yearwood. "We know that even if they read 10 minutes a day during the summer it maintains their reading skills so when they start school they don't have to start back from scratch."
In addition to the reading program, Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon during June and July, young readers may participate in the "Read With a Grandmother" events. Grandmother Kathleen McNealy will be on hand again this year to read or listen to blossomed readers.
WSIU will also offer award-winning children's foreign films from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on June 27 for grades one through six; and from 10 to 11 a.m. on July 11 for Pre-K through second grades.
Students from SIU who are familiar with the cultures featured in the films are expected to attend.
Sharon Shanahan and her trained dog companion "Sam," will be available the last two Tuesdays in June and through July. First- through third-graders is the target audience. Registration is required.
Michelle Montgomery, an art teacher at Woodlawn High School, will also be offering four art classes during the summer months. Registration is also required for this program. For more information, you may call the library at 242-6322.
LIbrary hours are from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and during the summer months, the library will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.