Reading colors your world: A shout-out to our local summer reading programs

From stories and snacks to crafts and creatures, the Sully and Lynnville Public Libraries’ Summer Reading Programs were full of entertaining fun this year. Each town had four different sessions centered around this year’s theme of “Reading Colors Your World.” Each hour-long session consisted of a story, craft, snack, prizes, and other activities.

Summer reading program coordinator Angie Ver Ploeg reads to the kids in attendance at the June 9 program in Sully.

The Lynnville Public Library Summer Reading Program was held on Thursdays, June 10, 17, and 24 and July 1. Old Settlers Park in Lynnville was the new location this year to help with social distancing. After three weeks of the program, the grand finale was held on July 1, when Kyle from the Blank Park Zoo wowed the children with some furry and scaly special guests.

The Sully Public Library Summer Reading Program took place on Wednesdays, June 9, 16, 23, and 30. The grand finale included a visit from Brandon with the Science Center of Des Moines on June 30.

Angie Ver Ploeg was the summer reading program co-ordinator at both libraries for her seventh and final year in that role. She reported that after a grab-and-go style of story time last year due to COVID-19, this year’s numbers were about half the normal size. Lynnville typically had about 35 attendees, and Sully averaged around 45-50. The grand finale story times, however, drew in significantly larger numbers and were well attended.

“I was a little disappointed with the smaller numbers this year,” Ver Ploeg said, “but I know several families that typically attend had so many things going on — swimming lessons, VBS, vacation, so people just came when it worked, which is also perfectly fine.”

Kyle from the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines shows off animals at the reading program in Lynnville.

As she closes the chapter on being the summer reading program coordinator, Ver Ploeg said of the role, “It is something that I love to do. My children have attended it for many years, but they are starting to outgrow that age, and life is getting busier. Encouraging young kids to read is so beneficial, and motivating them with incentives and fun crafts and prizes made it all very rewarding.”

Thanks for all you contributed to the programs, Angie!

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