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And not just reading: tie-dying, survival skills, acting, hiking and prizes

Welcome to June! This month is always exciting at the library because we start our Summer Reading Program (SRP). The Jefferson County Library (JCLD) has been running the Summer Reading Program for quite a while, and since the program team leads this program, I'm turning this month's column over to Laura Jones, Star Todd, Gabrielle Beebe, and Gretchen Schlie who can tell you all about it.

The Summer Reading Program at the library is one of the year's highlights. And it doesn't just start in June. We've been working on the schedule for almost a year now. As soon as we finish this program, we will begin working on next year's program.

This year's theme is Camp Ollie. It's a month-long program about camping and getting into the great outdoors. Led by our fearless and adorable mascot, Ollie the Otter, the Summer Reading Program encourages kids to explore the world around them through the love of reading and the hands-on activities and programs we hold. This year, because of our camping theme, we will be studying things like camping outdoors, telling stories and learning about some of the unique animals we have living in our backyard. We will also include activities like tie-dying t-shirts and learning survival skills from the Boys Scouts. Laura Jones, JCLD children's librarian, explains, "Each year, we try to get out into the community and bring various activities to our kids. It is a great way to connect and a wonderful opportunity to share all the things that JCLD is doing."

The Summer Reading Program starts on June 23 at Bean Park with our Camp Ollie Kick-off, where we'll tie-dye t-shirts and do camp crafts. The next program is on June 30 at the Metolius Park, learning about survival skills with the Scouts. July 7 will be at the Culver Park learning about bats with the Girl Scouts. On July 14, the Warm Springs Community Center opens its doors for storytelling and a beading craft. The grand finale is on July 21 and will be Kid's Day at the Jefferson County Fair!

Another new feature of the SRP is the BookEnds Madras Children's Theater workshop. Gretchen Schlie leads the week-long drama camp for ages 5-12. "We decided to move BookEnd this year to the week of July 11 instead of August so that we could present our final performance during the Jefferson County Fair. We wanted to invite the community to come and see the dramatic talent our children have." Each year, a group of 7-10 students write, act and produce their play. This summer marks the third annual BookEnds Children's Theater workshop/camp; spaces are still available but are filling up quickly. Visit the Library website and click on "Kids & Teens" to register.

The Library's Summer Reading Program isn't only for kids. The teens will be doing a guided sunset hike on June 28 at the Cove Palisades State Park from 7-8 pm for grades 6-12. Registration is required for this one since the maximum number of participants is 25. Star Todd, who is in charge of teen programming, says, "It will be an easy to moderate hike of about two miles with some elevation change. The library is providing water; sunglasses are recommended." Teens are encouraged to fill out reading logs to enter to win one of six grand prizes. Visit our website for more information.

And don't forget that the JCLD has an SRP program for adults too! Adults can use their check-out receipts to redeem prizes at the end of the summer. The more you read, the more chances to win!

And speaking of prizes, we have a lot of good ones this year. To follow along with the children's and teen's theme most of them have to do with camping. Gabrielle Beebe, Adult Services Librarian, is excited about this year's prizes, "We were able to purchase a lot of the gifts through a grant funds we received: camping books, tents, backpacks, fishing gear, and our grand prize, an inflatable hot tub! I am sure there will be a reading war for that!"

Check out our website to see what prizes are offered this summer and get your reading choices ready for some outdoor fun!

Let the summer begin!

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