Anita Sheneberger, a youth services librarian at the Sumner branch of the Pierce County Library System, said part of the summer program is to encourage children to keep reading.
“It is a wonderful program where children keep track of their minutes, and we award prizes for every five hours they read,” she said.
Sheneberger also is in charge of the stories and crafts program, which is held at 10:30 a.m. each Wednesday, for children 3-6, although she said: “I don’t turn any kids away.”
Following story time, there is a craft that connects with the theme of each book. Last Wednesday’s theme was cows.
As kids sat on the carpet, Sheneberger read “Click, Clack, Moo.” Afterward, Sheneberger engaged them in a round of “Shake your sillies out” to help them blow off some steam.
Mia Kimura of Sumner took her two sons, Kohen and Kai. Kimura said they often go to the library for children’s’ activities.
“The boys love it,” she said.
As the children sat on the rug with paper to cut for grass, a cutout of a cow to color, scissors and crayons, Sheneberger explained the purpose of the program.
“We try to cover all the early literacy skills,” she said.
During story time, she periodically stopped to interact with the children. She talked about which food contains milk from cows, and she identified four types of cows.
Sheneberger said she’s excited about an event called UNI, a hands-on, lightweight structure that consists of a number of cubes with high-quality books and activities. The cubes serve as shelves and allow the public to browse and read.
The Sumner branch will host the event from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. July 17. UNI won the 2013 National Book Award’s Innovation in Reading Award.
“The UNI travels to libraries, and Sumner is the only Pierce County library to have it visit,” Sheneberger said.
UNI will be set up outside the library so kids of all ages can interact with it.
“It is an outside reading room,” Sheneberger said.
Summer reading is important because it helps kids prevent a summer slide in their education, Sheneberger said.
“If they don’t read 20 minutes a day over the summer, they will slide,” she said. “It is all about those little kids and getting them to enjoy reading.”Joan Cronk is a freelance reporter for the Herald.