Readers in the Summer Reading Program at the Girard Free Library surpassed their goal by reading more than 6,000 books and prompting Children's Librarian Marie Selak to take her first motorcycle ride.
''It was a fun summer,'' Selak said. ''We did a lot of things.''
More than 140 children completed the reading program, which used the theme ''Dream Big'' to encourage young people to read over the summer.
The readers from the Girard Free Library Summer Reading Program surpassed their goal this year by reading more than 6,200 books and as promised, children’s librarian Maria Selak rode a motorcycle with her nephew, Kevin Rozman of Richmond Heights. It was the first time Selak had ridden on a motorcycle. Winners this year were: first place with 265 books, Gabby Mitchell; second place with 260 books, Conner Mitchell; and third place with 240 books, Megan Fiedler.
There were activities going on nearly every day the library was open, Selak said. Each Wednesday a special program was held that featured a juggler, magician, pony rides, a visit from the Youngstown State University planetarium, and a play presented by Kent State?Trumbull's Summer Stock children's theater. There also was a lot of hands-on activities, including dissecting owl pellets and reading to dogs from K-9's for Compassion.
On some Wednesdays, there were as many as 150 children taking part in library activities, Selak said.
During a special Friday session on July 27, children participated in their own version of the Olympics by holding games that included long jumps, throwing balls into rings and water sports held inside the library.
'We wanted to get the kids excited about watching the Olympics on TV,'' Selak said.
After the summer readers surpassed their goal by reading 6,287 books, Selak kept her promise and rode a motorcycle for the first time driven by her nephew, Kevin Rozman of Richmond Heights.
''We wanted the kids to have a fun time,'' Selak said, ''so when they go back to school they have an easier time getting back into it.''
Selak said The Friends of the Library and a lot of people and businesses helped with the program particularly in the forms of donations of money and gift certificates, which were used as prizes. At the end of the program a list of summer reading participants are sent to the principals of the schools to let them know who kept reading over the summer, she said. Sometimes the principals will reward the students even more with coupons, she said.