Thursday, June 8 marked the start of the annual Summer Reading Program at all Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) branches across the city.
To kick off Summer Reading, libraries provided fun activities and entertainment to keep children engaged and excited for the summer. Children were also encouraged to sign-up for the Summer Reading Program, where they mark the books they read throughout the summer.
The Central Library Plaza (10 Grand Army Plaza) was transformed into an open-air maker-space for children and families. Though events were planned from 2pm to 4pm at every other library branch, the schedule for the Central Library was a bit different:
Activities from 10:30am to 3:00pm, included:
10:30am Musical Performance by Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats
11:20am Opening ceremony
12:00pm Build Your Story with Beam Center, Big Build with ArchForKids, Superball Factory with Mad Science of NYC; explore artifacts with Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
All Day: Four & Twenty Blackbirds cookie giveaway; additional activities for children and teens indoors
To check out some of the festivities, we stopped by the Kensington Library branch at 18th Avenue.
“We do this to promote reading, so children and adults have somewhere to go over the summer,” said Librarian William Lewnes who has been a part of the program for about 20 years. “Just because school ends, doesn’t mean reading does.”
Lewnes anticipated about 50 to 75 people showing up at the kick-off. When we went at 2pm, dozens of children were already there soaking up the fun.
There was a Nintendo Wii station set up, because hey, who doesn’t like Nintendo?
For arts and crafts lovers, there was a station specifically for that. And it was quite popular among the kids who were there.
Every station was run by a young volunteer. We got the chance to chat with 11-year-old Hussna Buldan.
“I’m volunteering because when I was younger I used to come to this library and I was very thankful for the program,” she said. “So, this summer I decided to do the same thing for younger children.”
There was even a station for toddlers — a little station with blocks. Talk about cuteness overload!
To make the event more awesome, there was a raffle to win a ticket (good for four people) to the American Museum of Natural History. And they’re selecting two winners!
So join Summer Reading! What are you waiting for?