Four-year-old Avery Mac Phillips excitedly zipped around the children’s room at the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries, pulling books from the shelves and pointing them out to his mother, Molly.
“This is a big book,” he said of a Curious George book he brought to the reading table. “It’s George.”
His brother, Cole, 2, pointed at pages and practiced coloring.
“He loves books,” Molly said of Avery Mac. “I think it’s important for him to be around libraries. And for (Cole), I think it’s important at his age to just have him around stories.”
The family will have plenty of opportunities to stay engaged in early childhood literacy through the Moffat County Libraries’ Summer Reading Program, which began this week.
Library program coordinator Christy Gonzales said it’s important to keep children reading throughout summer vacation.
“Statistics show, having them read over the summer causes less of a setback when they start school again in the fall,” Gonzales said. “It’s just a constructive thing to do with their time.”
Throughout the summer, story-times will take place at 11 a.m. Thursdays at the Moffat County Fairgrounds covered picnic area, and will feature summer-oriented guest speakers, skits, songs and stories.
For children up to 5, the Summer Reading Program theme is “Make a Splash,” and emphasizes fun in the sun.
Gonzales said this year’s theme is the one she has been the most excited for in recent years.
“When you think summer, you think beaches and water,” she said. “It’s really high energy and fun.”
Children can attend story-time, perform weekly craft projects at anytime in the library’s children’s room and attend family game nights at 5 p.m. Mondays.
For teens in sixth through 12th grades, the theme is “Making Waves,” designed to encourage youth to challenge themselves.
There will be prizes for books read and a youth club at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, which will offer craft activities geared toward teens.
A few of the youth club activities include making rollercoaster and boat designs, making a flip-flop photo frame and decorating a beach ball, Gonzales said.
Adults can drop their names into a jar for every book they read to be eligible to win prizes like gardening gear and outdoor gifts. The theme is “Water Your Mind.”
Gonzales said that theme reinforces the importance of recreational reading.
For young children, the library will soon receive several new picture books, so that children and parents can use their creativity to make up their own stories as they go along.
“I always tell people, (the children’s room) is the best room in the whole library,” Gonzalez said. “Because we have picture books.”
But, the creative mind never stops growing, and reading can help expand minds through adulthood, she said.
She said one regular library patron uses books to escape from her college class textbooks.
“Of course, textbooks count, too,” she said.