FLEMING ISLAND – Next week kids across Clay County will be given the opportunity to participate in a beefed-up version of the Clay County Library System’s annual Summer Reading Program. …
FLEMING ISLAND – Next week kids across Clay County will be given the opportunity to participate in a beefed-up version of the Clay County Library System’s annual Summer Reading Program.
First, the library system is now operating its teen programs for students age 12 and up and tween programs for those age 10-12 solely through its four-person team whose sole job has been to create programming for those specific age groups going into the Summer Reading Program.
“For this first summer they’ve focused on teen and tween programming,” said Deputy Director of Library Services Lynn Pinilla. “They also do adult programming and will be doing more of that in the fall.”
This year’s theme is Libraries Rock! with programming focused around rock music like “Rolling Stones Storytime” and puns created from existing programming like Kindness Rocks! where participants paint the rocks that can be found hidden across parks and playgrounds throughout the county.
Teen and Tween programming prepared by the new programming team will be a roving set of events in which the team will travel throughout the entire library system to present computer classes on subjects ranging from cooking and Science Technology Engineering Art and Math-based activities – like a makerspace and a computer coding class.
In addition to the advent of the programming team, library hours also played a role in accommodating additional programming.
At the beginning of the year, libraries reverted to a normalized set of hours, opening Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with all branches being closed on Sundays. This normalization, and expansion of hours into the morning, allowed library directors more leeway when planning summer programming for the much younger kids who need to get programs in early before naptime, as well as later times when Mom and Dad are off work and can take the kids to the library.
“We now have our hours expanded back out so we have two more mornings a week at every library and two more evenings a week at every library,” said Library Services Director Pat Coffman. “All of those factors working together allowed us to have, I think, almost 60 more programs in the schedule this year.”
The calendars of this year’s programming have been placed in all the schools and is also available for viewing on the library website. Some of the computer-based and life skills classes for teens require pre-registration which can be done through the website as well. Though Coffman and Pinilla said that none of the classes have filled up yet, they recommend parents register for classes they know their child is going to attend as soon as possible.
Programs will run from June 11-July 21 with an End of Summer Party being held at the Fleming Island Headquarters Library on that last Saturday starting at 2 that afternoon.
“We’ll have more of the STEAM and the more challenging [programs], but they’re also fun,” Coffman said. “The first thing we want children to do when they come to the library this summer is have a good time, we want them to know that you can come and enjoy yourself—and of course we want them to continue to read, so, if they have fun coming, they’ll come back.”