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by Whitney Crouch

People of all ages are invited to dive into books this summer through the Gilmer County Library’s summer reading program. Registration begins May 24 and the free summer long celebration of reading will end July 31. 
This is about “just reading for fun,” emphasized library youth coordinator Judy Griggs. “You can pick whatever you want to read. It doesn’t have to be library books.”
She went on to explain that the summer reading program is particularly important for children since studies show youngsters are at a risk for losing what they’ve learned in school over the long summer break. 
“Just reading six books will help them retain what they learned,” she noted. “It’s very important. We want all children to love to read.” 
Signing up for the summer reading program is free and easy — simply stop by the library to register. 

Summer reading program details
Children from birth to sixth grade are invited to take part in the “Dig into Reading!” program this summer.  
Participants will receive a reading log in which to record the books they have completed, as well as a bookmark and free ice cream. After reaching the first reading level — either 10 picture books or three chapter books — children will receive a certificate and a coupon for a free waffle. If they continue reading and meet the additional program goals, they can also earn a free kid’s meal, pizza and chance to win a prize basket. 
Teens ages 12 and up can also earn rewards for meeting their reading goals this summer by registering for the “Beneath the Surface” reading program. 

Upon signing up, they will receive a program game board, bookmark and a coupon for a free ice cream. After completing any row of activities on the board, the teens will earn coupons for free chicken nuggets and pizza and a temporary tattoo. They will also be entered into a drawing for a fourth generation iPod Touch. 
Adults can also take part in a summer reading program titled “Groundbreaking Reads.” For more information, visit the circulation desk at the local library. 

Activities for kids, teens

In addition to offering reading incentives, the Gilmer County Library is hosting an abundance of activities for local children and teens over the course of the summer. 
Kids six years and up are invited to special programming Monday afternoons at 3 p.m. Upcoming activities include Donna Myer’s Cherokee Traveling Trunk activities and artifacts June 10 and Lego Bingo June 17. 
Children who are in third grade or up are invited to come to the library Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. throughout the summer to make a variety of crafts ranging from fairy/elf houses to nature scrapbooks to glow in the dark insect hangers. 
Those 10 years and up will also enjoy visiting the library Tuesday afternoons at 2 p.m., in July for additional craft projects including making patriotic necklaces and pins July 2 and rainbow hangers July 9. 
Teens will enjoy making various steampunk crafts each Wednesday at 3 p.m. 
Every Tuesday afternoon in June, kids ages 10 and up can attend knitting workshops at 2 p.m., and crocheting lessons at 3 p.m.
For all of the craft activities, materials will be provided. Since space is limited, participants must pre-register for each program. 
Fridays at 2 p.m., teens ages 12 and up are invited to come get their game on with trivia activities about their favorite books including “The Hunger Games,” “The Hobbit” and “Eragon.” 

Story times, family events
Families are encouraged to come for story times Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and the first Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m. Some of the upcoming story time themes include “Playing in the Mucky Muck,” June 1; “Dazzling Diggers,” June 12; “Digging in the Dirt,” June 19; and “Stuck in the Mud,” June 26. 
Special family events will be held every Thursday at 3 p.m., and a few of the upcoming guest speakers include Rob Kelly who will speak about gold panning June 13, Ralph Artigliere who will discuss life in a trout stream June 20 and “The Balloon Lady” Nancy Fangles June 27. 
The library will also be hosting a half price Scholastic Book Fair from May 24 to June 7.

To learn more
These are just a few of the many activities scheduled at the local library for this summer. For more information on summer programs at the Gilmer County Library, call at (706) 635-4528, visit or stop by the Gilmer County Library facility located at 268 Calvin Jackson Drive in Ellijay beside Mountain View Elementary.

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