GRAVENHURST - Reading is on the rise in Gravenhurst, and it showed at the library’s end-of summer party.
Tabitha and Tanisha Hudson first met their younger sister Emily on Tuesday. The spent their first day together at the Gravenhurst Library end of summer party.
Photo by Jennifer Bowman
Michelle Joselin, children’s summer programmer at the Gravenhurst Public Library, said close to 60 children, almost twice as many as last year, and their parents attended the end-of-summer bash.
“We can definitely use a megaphone,” said Joselin. “There were so many people, it was so loud.”
Early in the season the library challenged its young readers to see how many books they could read throughout the summer. If required, their parents could help them. The winner, seven-year-old Madison, topped the chart at 167, followed by four-year-old Liam at 114.
“We have never had a kid read more than 100 books,” Joselin said.
They also had many children who read 50 books, which is also unusual.
The day offered a show with Jam Sandwich, storytime, face painting, snacks and prizes in the library’s backyard.
For the Hudson family, there was an extra special surprise that day. Tammy Hudson said her daughters Tabitha and Tanisha met their younger half-sister Emily for the first time that morning, just before the event.
Emily, who lives in Orillia, will be living with the family for 11 days. Both girls were excited to learn they had another sister and would get to spend time with her.
The day went really well, she said.
The girls sat together to look at the books they received at the library, but it was the face painting they most looked forward to at the event. The face painting lineups were so long extra parents had to jump in to help.
Hudson said she really appreciates what the library is doing, especially since there are not a lot of other programs in Gravenhurst.
This year the number of people participating in the library’s programs doubled.
Joselin said because government testing shows the reading level in Gravenhurst public schools is very low, they cut out some of their outdoor play at the library this year and focused on making books a larger part of the program. They also brought in new ideas, such as the Lego program, to introduce children to the library.
Joselin said they are trying to introduce kids to the library in different ways, including radio ads and new programs. She said many people did not realize the library had programs.
“It’s really getting the parents that actually helps,” Joselin said.
The library plans to move forward with some new programs in the fall, and for next summer’s bash, they’ve got their eyes on the Gravenhurst Opera House.