These are some of the prizes that children can win in the Library of Graham’s Summer Reading Program.   (Photo by Thomas Wallner)

Critterman to kickoff summer reading program Wednesday

The Summer Reading Program, which has been around for 16 years at the Library of Graham, officially began again on Monday and will  run through July 27. Nine special programs will be featured this year for the program, and the first one, Critterman, starts at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, at North Central Texas College, next door to the library.

“We’re very unusual that we have the funding to do this kind of show. A lot of libraries, their program only lasts through June because they don’t have the funding,” Director of the Library of Graham Sherrie Gibson said. “We do June and July and then we take August off.” 

Last year, the program had 220 kids from Pre-k through eighth grade register and a total of 3,425 hours read. Despite the program starting last Monday, Gibson said the turnout for the reading program has been strong this year. 

“We already have 23 children registered, and they have already read 130 hours,” she said.

For every two hours read by a child who is registered in the program, they will receive six “book bucks” and a free paperback. The “book bucks” are entry slips for a drawing held on the last day of the program.

Younger children can have their parents read to them, according to Gibson, and still turn in a log of two hours and get a free book.

Reading logs for the program can be picked up at the library and must be turned into the library by July 22 in order for the library to properly prepare the for the final program on July 27. 

To finish the program, a child must read 10 hours, and then he or she will receive a certificate of completion and a swim pass. The more a student reads, the more book bucks they receive, which will lead to increased chances of winning prizes.

Participants must be present at the July 27 final program in order to receive prizes. 

The prizes and funding of the performers has always been done by Virginia Street, according to Gibson, and she said that without her the program would not be where it is now.

“This has been privately funded since I started bringing in the performers, which was Virginia Street. Now she’s passed, and she never wanted anyone to know she did it,” Gibson said. “If it wasn’t for her donations all those years, we couldn’t have had this.”

But aside from the free books and prizes the children receive, Gibson said, the program offers much more.

“The free books and the book bucks are an incentive to get them to read the two hours, but it’s beneficial to them in ways that they don’t even know,” she said. “They are building up their vocabulary, they keeping up their reading skills so they don’t fall behind over the Summer, so that when schools starts they haven’t fallen behind on their reading levels at all a lot of them have advanced.”

All the performers for the Summer Reading Program will be at 2 p.m. in the NCTC auditorium next to the library. The shows are free and open to the public. Floor space will be available for children, and seating will be available for the adults. 

Programs included in the Summer Reading Program:

June 1 - Critterman

June 8 -  Margaret Clauder

June 15 -  Magician James Wand 

June 22  - BooCoos the clown

June 29  - Wildlife on the Move

July 6 - Nancy Burks Ventriloquist

July 13 - Mad Science of Dallas

July 20 - Zooniversity

July 27 - Finale 

The Graham Leader

620 Oak Street
P.O. Box 600
Graham, Texas 76450
Phone: (940) 549-7800
Fax: (940) 228-0589