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The Super Stellar Summer Reading Program Kick-off Party is set for Saturday afternoon, June 15 in the library parking lot

PHOTO COURTESY OF JANE SCHEPPKE - The Summer Reading Program was launched last year with a special event at the Crook County Library. A kick-off party for the 2019 program is planned for next Saturday in the library parking lot.

It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the Galactic Empire …

If you heard a familiar trumpet fanfare in your head when you read those sentences — and maybe you heard a Wookiee roar and caught a whiff of movie theater popcorn, too — then this year's Summer Reading Program at Crook County Library is definitely for you.

Titled "A Universe of Stories," the 2019 Summer Reading Program celebrates science fiction, astronomy, futurism, technology and uncanny phenomena of all kinds. This year's theme was chosen in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

This year's Summer Reading Program marks the first time that the library has issued a single challenge to all citizens of Crook County, regardless of age: read or be read to 15 minutes a day, every day, between June 13 and Aug. 7.

Those who register for the program before July 6 will receive a log to track their progress, along with a book bag. Children and teens will also receive a free book just for signing up.

"In addition to being a lot of fun, the Summer Reading Program encourages Crook County residents of all ages to read for pleasure and to use library resources during the summer," said Assistant Director of Library Services Jane Scheppke.

Registration for the reading log portion of the program begins at midnight on Thursday, June 13, with a kickoff and sign-up party from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 15. Bend-based world music combo The Nomads will be there for the Super Stellar Summer Reading Program Kick-off Party, which will be held in the library parking lot. The celebration also features a face-painting booth, an obstacle course provided by Crook County On The Move, and booths representing local social service agencies dealing with youth.

"We will also have a sno-cone machine this year, which staff is pretty excited about," Scheppke said.

Registration for the reading log portion of the program continues through Saturday, July 6. Summer Reading events continue through Aug. 7. All events are free of charge and are open to all.

This summer, the library is expanding the weekly storytime offerings for kids age 0-6 to two programs a week: Summer Stories on Monday afternoons from 4 to 5 p.m., and Family Storytime from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday mornings.

Teen Late Night will be held on Monday evenings every week from 6 to 8 p.m., and programs for children in elementary schools will be held at varying times on Tuesdays.

Adult programs are generally held on Wednesdays, although that is not consistent through the whole program, Scheppke noted.

Readers can come to the library this summer for special programs such as a talk by local author Rick Steber, a chance to read to a dog, a lesson on astronaut food, and a Humane Society of the Ochocos adoption event.

The Summer Reading Program also involves weekly contests with prizes awarded every Wednesday. Details about the challenges and additional programming can be found on the library's website.

This year's weekly prizes include telescopes, robotics kits, time capsule kits, and other stuff related to the theme.

Summer Reading funding primarily comes from two sources: the Friends of the Crook County Library and a Ready to Read grant from the state of Oregon. The Friends fund the adult and teen events and prizes, and the state funds the children's activities and prizes.

Scheppke says reading every day is like rocket fuel for your brain and encourages all ages to join the Summer Reading Program.

"For children and teens, a casual, regular reading habit is critical for maintaining and building literacy skills, especially when school is not in session," Scheppke said. "Kids also benefit from seeing the adults in their lives reading for enjoyment."

Sidebar

Super Stellar Summer Reading Program Kick-off Party

Date: 2-4 p.m. Saturday, June 15

Place: Crook County Library parking lot, 175 NW Meadow Lakes Drive

Register online: www.crooklib.org

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