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Library program promotes love of reading to children

The Pahrump Community Library is holding their annual summer reading program where children read for prizes, participate in crafts, sing and enjoy special guests that come in to read.

The national program kicked off locally on June 17 with “Doodad the Magician” and face painting. This year’s program theme is “Every Hero Has a Story.”

During the classes children sing songs, create a craft and listen to a guest reader. Children are expected to read at home and bring their reading log back to class with them the following week to earn prizes for every hour they read. Many of our community companies sponsor the program.

Brenda Gibbons, who is the children’s librarian, indicated there are approximately 100 children participating each week, ranging in ages from 4-years-old to 13.

“Part of our goal was to help kids keep their reading skills up during the summer,” Gibbons said. “It gives them a place to come that is safe and an activity to do that is beneficial.”

Gibbons said the benefits include improving reading skills, educational activities, productive ways to spend the summer and a way to make new friends.

Barbara Dittrich said she brings her 5-year-old son Riyan Dittrich because he enjoys the crafts and helps him with social skills.

“It gets him with other kids,” said Dittrich, who has been bringing her children to the library for years. “He really enjoys it.”

She added her children participate in the winter, spring and summer reading programs at the library.

The program at the Pahrump Community Library is part of a collaboration with the Collaborative Summer Library Program, an Iowa-based nonprofit organization that works with libraries around the country to provide high-quality summer reading programs. The organization decides the theme and book as well as lesson plans and activities for the participating libraries.

This program is something many libraries in the United States have participated in for approximately 75 years.

The local library uses a federal grant to help offset some of the expenses tied to the program.

Gibbons starts preparing for the annual summer program in December, booking entertainment for the children and purchasing materials. Gibbons teaches the classes and distributes the prizes, many of which are donated by businesses in the community.

The Pahrump Community Pool offers a swim pass for three hours read, Carl’s Jr. restaurant offers a free ice cream sandwich for six hours read, Subway offers a kid’s meal for nine hours read, and Pizza Hut offers a free personal pan pizza for 12 hours read.

Others sponsors offering prizes and donations include Smith’s, Saddle West Hotel and Casino, Daughters of the American Revolution and Valley Electric Association, Inc.

Although the program has already begun, Gibbons said new members are always welcomed and encouraged at every class.

The program runs on Tuesday and Wednesday until July 21. The times for Tuesday are 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. for ages 6-11; 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for children 5th grade and up. Wednesday times are 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. for ages 4-5; and 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for ages 6-11.

The Pahrump Community Library is located at 701 East St. Call Gibbons at 775-727-5930 for more information.

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