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Summer reading begins

First Posted: 9:40 am - June 10th, 2015

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Lashonda Crosby paints Sebastian Heath’s smiling face.

Debbie Cooper helps Nanette Hawkins and her children, Lily and Roman, select books.

Shannon Ramsden and Cooper Ramsden enjoy snacks in the shade.

Keira Boulware smiles as Wonder Woman.

Summer readers enjoy story time.

Jameson Boulware blows bubbles.

At the Summer Reading Kickoff, a boatful of summer readers play together.

FAIRFIELD COUNTY — Fairfield County children should be more literate than a locomotive and able to read tall books in a single setting because of efforts from the Fairfield County Library.

The library held the annual kickoff Saturday for its all-ages inclusive super hero themed summer reading program.

“We’ve been doing the Summer Kickoff for, gosh, I don’t know how long. Many, many years,” said Sarah McMaster director of the Fairfield County Library. “We sign kids up (for the summer reading program) for weeks after.”

This year’s edition of the event included face painting, a bounce house, hot dogs, refreshments, vision screenings courtesy of the Winnsboro Lions Club, games and free books.

“I think it’s fabulous,” said Nannette Hawkins, whose children Roman and Lily picked out free books. “I think the kids really need to learn to do more read, because there’s reading in everything.”

Hawkins said she particularly appreciated the guidance of Debbie Cooper, librarian for Fairfield Magnet School for Math and Science.

“It’s nice, because a lot of times, you don’t know what to get,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins said she was glad there is an event that frames reading in a positive, pleasurable light because she feels it encourages positive development.

“It helps them grow,” Hawkins said. “It helps their imagination.”

McMaster also said encouraging reading for pleasure is important.

“The schools do a good job of giving assignments, and we support that, but it’s also important children read for fun,” McMaster said.

McMaster said reading during the summer months is particularly helpful for young minds.

“It’s huge,” McMaster said. “There’s all sorts of documentation on what they call the Summer Slide.”

McMaster said actively engaging in reading helps stave off the cognitive backslide.

This year, the library’s summer program is also targeting more mature readers.

“We’ll have something for every level this year,” McMaster said.

For the first time, the library will offer a summer reading program for adults in addition to programs for teens and children.

“The adult program is kind of an experiment,” McMaster said.

All programs are thematically related to heroes of all types.

“We’re going to emphasize our military heroes and some other types of heroes,” McMaster said.

The adult program’s theme is Escape the Ordinary, the theme for teen readers is Unmask, and the children’s summer reading program theme is Every Hero Has a Story.

Participating children who log 10 hours of reading and four library visits will receive a summer reading medal.

The soft deadline for signing up for the summer reading program is July 31.

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