Library program offers kids prizes, fun

Read a book and win a bike.

That’s how far turning the pages this summer could take a local youngster in the Sweet Home Library’s Summer Reading Program, which runs Wednesdays, June 27 through Aug. 1.

“We’re planning a whole lot of fun things,” said Librarian Leona McCann. “We have a lot of good ideas, things to do, prizes to win.”

The big prize, she said, will be a “top-of-the-line” bicycle and helmet, which McCann hopes to display in the library as the program progresses.

The program for children ages 3 through 12 will be “Get a Clue @ Your Library.” The weekly programs will be held from 10 to 11:30 on Wednesdays, the day the library is usually closed, so that regular patrons won’t be disturbed by the activity and vice versa, McCann said.

Children can register from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 21, or from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 23, and receive a free book.

The first event, on June 27, will be Spy Day, in which children will learn about spy codes, signals and gadgets. They will also make disappearing ink and will learn how American colonists outspied the British to win the Revolutionary War.

After a break for the July 4 holiday, Mad Science of Portland will appear on July 11, presenting “Fire and Ice,” a show that includes magic with fire, and cool experiments with very cold ice, among other amazing demonstrations.

The program will feature a magic show on July 18, “Mysteries of the Forest” on July 25 and the awards presentations on Aug. 1.

Free lunches will be provided by the school district’s Summer Lunch Program in the library’s back parking lot.

Teen Scene, for teens 13 to 18 or any child who has completed seventh grade, will also focus on mysteries. Participants can register from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 21, or from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 23, and receive a free book.

Teen Scene will once again feature a mystery question in The New Era each week. The first teen to go to the library with the correct answer will win a $20 gift card from Wal-Mart.

Events for teens include a treasure hunt on June 27 in the downtown area. Clues may be solved at the library as participants try to figure out where to find a treasure chest and ice cream.

Fear Factor will be back again this year on July 11, with the question: How brave are you? Participants can win an MP3 player, a portable DVD player or a $25 Borders gift card.

A magician from Portland will present a magic workshop on July 18, and on July 25 participants can learn fingerprinting and forensics techniques.

The Aug. 1 Award Day event will include prize drawings and seeing the librarian lifted off a table.

McCann said the library has purchased $1,050 worth of new books for teens, many of them award winners, through the Libri Foundation of Eugene with seed money from the Friends of the Library.

In addition to providing a positive environment for children during summer vacation, the library wants to keep youngsters sharp educationally.

“The program’s goal is to keep kids reading, to encourage a love of reading,” she said. “We want to keep them ready for school, so they don’t lose two months of reading while they veg all summer.”