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.
Youth Services Librarian
Meredith Public Library
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