Published in the July 22, 2015 edition
By GAIL LOWE
WAKEFIELD — Wakefield readers have logged 6,132 books since Monday, June 22, when the “Wakefield Reads” summer program was launched, according to Beebe Librarian Nancy Sheehan.
“The 6,132 books read means we are more than halfway to our goal of reading 10,000 books,” said Sheehan yesterday. More than 1,400 people are in the “Wakefield Reads” program, including 193 pre-school children, 420 elementary school students, 398 middle schoolers, 406 high school students and 40 adults.
The numbers, broken down, show that pre-schoolers under age 5 have read 2,692 books, while elementary school children entering grades 1 through 4 have read 2,740 books. Middle school students have read 575 books as of yesterday and high school students have read 57 books. The adult population adds another 68 books to the grand total.
The program is a partnership between the School Department and Beebe Library that got its start in 2014 when Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stephen K. Zrike approached library officials and proposed the idea to make it a goal to read 10,000 books over the summer months.
Participants will receive prizes for reading or being read to aloud, said Sheehan. Students from the elementary grades through high school will receive a prize for every five books read plus a raffle ticket.
Adults earn tickets for special raffle prizes for books they have read.
“So far this summer, there has yet to be a lull in activity at the library,” said an encouraged Sheehan.
In addition to “Wakefield Reads,” the Friends of Beebe Library have funded some exciting programs this summer.
Monday evenings at 6:30, children and their families are invited to Campfire Stories.
They will bring a T-shirt to tie-dye on Tuesday, July 28 at 4 p.m. on the plaza and are advised to “dress messy.”
Then, on Wednesday, July 29 at 10:30 a.m., children ages 6-10 will discover their inner super power in Jungle Jim’s Superhero Training Academy.
Later on that same day (2:30 p.m.), kids ages 10 and up will compete for prizes in Hero Trivia.
Then, on Thursday, July 30, teens in Fandom Science (part science, part crafts) meets at 2:30 p.m. Registration is required.
To top off July, on Friday, July 31, Kidstock participatory theater returns for kids of all ages at 10:30 a.m.
August will begin with Outdoor Tie Dye on Saturday, Aug. 1. Sidewalk chalk provided by the library will be sure to give middle or high school students a constructive way to stay busy on a lazy Saturday afternoon. The fun starts at 1 p.m. Bring a white cotton T-shirt. And dress down.
As a group, Wakefield Public School students have been reading about a remarkable young woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17 when she stood against the Taliban and insisted that women in her native Pakistan have the opportunity for an education. Since educating girls in Pakistan is illegal, Malala put herself in grave danger. But even the violence done to her could not shake her resolve. Today, she lives in England and advocates for the education of women all around the world.
Stuck on a waiting list for the Malala book? The library has copies of “Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words” written for children entering third or fourth grade that adults and children can read at the library. These copies stay at the library permanently for people who need to read the book but do not wish to join a wait list to get the required reading done.
The required book for students entering first and second grades is “Biblioburro” by Jeanette Winter. The library keeps a copy of this book as well for patrons to read in the library.
The last day to collect prizes for the summer reading program is Friday, Aug. 14. Students, however, are encouraged to continue reading throughout the summer and log book reviews until Sept. 7.