FORSYTH COUNTY -- Students in Forsyth County can count on a few things as they near the end of the school year: finals, yearbooks and a visit from a librarian.
The Forsyth County Public Library youth services staff is conducting an outreach campaign to encourage students to continue reading for fun over the break through its summer program and ahead of related carnivals.
The program rewards children and teenagers who set and reach a summer reading goal with a free book, and all participants will be entered in raffle drawings for several grand prizes.
“Our youth services team strives to visit local schools, preschools and even day care centers throughout the year, but the weeks leading up to the launch of our summer reading program are especially important,” said Laura Bradley, program manager for the four-branch library system.
“Our staff goes into classrooms and assembly events with several storytime activities to help kids find joy in reading, even over the summer when they’re tempted to let their literacy skills get rusty.”
Readers up to grade will have the chance to win a family fun pack donated from Stars and Strikes. Readers in sixth through 12th grades will be entered to win a gift card and basket from AMC Theaters. Adult readers will be eligible to win an iPad Mini.
To earn a free book or win a raffle drawing, readers must register for the program online or in person at any library branch between the last day of school, May 27, and July 31.
Branches will be holding Summer Reading Kick Off Carnivals after school lets out, Bradley said.
“The carnivals are among our most popular events all year,” she said. “Based on patron feedback, this summer the Post Road and Sharon Forks libraries will combine their events at the [Lanier Technical College] Forsyth Conference Center, where there is ample parking and sidewalks on the surrounding streets for families that prefer to walk.”
The combined carnival will be held from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. May 31.
Participants can register for the program, play carnival games and watch balloon artists twist balloons into wild animals and zany objects, Bradley said.
Lew-E the Clown will also give two performances of “Read-O-lympics,” a magic show and story-time for children of all ages.
The Cumming Library will hold its carnival from 4:30 to 7 p.m. June 1 and the Hampton Park Library will have its from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. June 2. Both events will include carnival games, balloon artists and two performances from entertainer Todd Key.
Key’s show, “Cirque du Todd: The Flying Debris Extravaganza Juggle-Palooza,” combines juggling, circus skills, magic and “just the right mix of comedy and reading encouragement for children of all ages.
“Our summer reading program theme this year is ‘On Your Mark, Get Set … READ!’ So we’ll be encouraging families to make sports and physical fitness part of their summer routine,” Bradley said.
In addition to providing books, magazines and digital materials on health and wellness, libraries will offer programs for teens and adults on cooking and eating healthy on a budget.
The full slate of summer reading programming for children, teens and adults will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
Printed summer program guides will be available at each library branch starting May 15.
To view the library’s online event calendar by age group or location, visit forsythpl.org.