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Ambitious summer reading program had great public support

To The Daily Sun,

Congratulations to all the youngsters who joined this year's summer reading program at the Belmont Public Library. We had 143 kids sign up. Also, all the grown-ups who participated deserve a big hand for the reading aloud they did, for all the tickets they filled out, and for all they do to support the library and their children's reading in the summer and throughout the year.

We couldn't do such an ambitious program without the strong support and collaboration with the local schools, their staff and administration. It is an honor and joy to work with such wonderful educators.

Those summer reading lists were a great incentive for folks to come to the library.

Brookside Pizza in Belmont was beyond good to us and donated the pizza for our closing party.It is also my great privilege and pleasure to say huge thank yous to Belmont Police, Fire, Public Works, and Rec Departments. The first three provided the impressive vehicles at the July Belmont Farmers Market, and the Recreation Department allowed us to "borrow" their summer camp kids for a demonstration by the N.H. Children's Museum.

Warmest thanks to everyone who helped throughout our busy six weeks. We could not do these large events without the generous support of our patrons and sponsors. We especially want to acknowledge those businesses which donated prizes for our weekly raffle including Canobie Lake Park, Gunstock Resort, Gilford Cinema 8, Pirates' Cove, Subway, and Funspot. The N.H. Motor Speedway offered NASCAR tickets as a "bonus" incentive to those who signed up in the first week.

An especially big note of thanks to Katherine, Paige, and Sarah. The library could not have functioned without you this summer.

Eileen Gilbert, Director

Belmont Public Library

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Every hero had a story at the Meredith Public Library this summer

To The Daily Sun,

The 2015 national youth summer reading theme was "Every Hero Has a Story", so the librarians at the Meredith Public Library used their summer programs to highlight a variety of heroes, including local heroes like police and firefighters, super heroes like Batman and Superman, and heroic historical figures like Jacques Cousteau. However, as summer slowly fades and the children begin to return to school, it has become clear that the young readers of Meredith were themselves the real heroes this year.

Running from June 27 to Aug. 14, this year's MPL Summer Reading offered two different incentive programs, with kids 8 and under filling up a reading log in order to score a goodie bag, and the older crowd working to earn entries into weekly prize raffles. The young readers program had 177 kids sign up, and the teen program saw an increase from last year with 61 young adults signing up at the library. Between the two programs, the kids logged an amazing 1,735 hours of reading, which is equivalent to one person reading for over 72 straight days! In addition, as part of the teen program, the kids were challenged to perform "heroic" good deeds in their communities by doing something to help someone else without payment, and they blew our staff away by collectively performing 126 good deeds. They included vacuuming the house, cleaning their sibling's bedroom, getting up early to tend the family chickens, letting a younger cousin go on an amusement park ride first, and so much more. We couldn't be more proud of what these kids did to make our community that much better this summer.

In addition to the reading program, the Meredith Public Library hosted 54 youth programs during summer reading, and had over 500 people attend. Some highlights were the super popular Friday morning Tot Times, which welcomed local guest readers every week, the return of Wildlife Encounters and their super educational live animal show, and cartoonist Eric Fulford, who taught us the basics of cartooning and story-telling while working with the audience to create and draw a brand-new hero. This summer was such a success that in July youth services saw their total attendance numbers increase for the second year in a row when they welcomed 682 people to their many classes, events, and outreach programs.

None of this would have happened without the local businesses whose generous donations made this whole thing possible. We would like to express our profound appreciation to Canobie Lake Park, The Common Man, Funspot, George's Diner, Gunstock, Louie's Famous Pizza, Meredith Mobil Station, Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, Storyland, T-Bones and Cactus Jacks, and Walgreens for making this summer possible.

John Locke

Youth Services Librarian

Meredith Public Library

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