Sheridan County Library stock

Summers in Sheridan are so full of fun and excitement it’s hard to pick a favorite activity.

Grabbing an ice cream cone after swimming at Kendrick Park, getting out of town to go hiking in the Bighorns and spending the day at the rodeo are all definitely part of what makes summer special. But I’d have to say my favorite part of summer has to be summer reading at the library. As a kid, reading at school was fine, but teachers always assigned “important books." Yes, "Great Expectations" is a meaningful piece of literature that perfectly illustrated themes like class, ambition and greed in the 1800s, but let’s be fair, at age 12 it was a bit of snooze for me.

On the first day of summer vacation, my mother would grab the heavy-duty tote bags and let us grab books about spaceships and dragons and kids with vampire teachers. This total reading refresh reminded me why I love reading and allowed me to appreciate the themes in the “important” books I was assigned in school.

This is why librarians and teachers alike encourage summer reading programs like ours. This summer, the kids’ reading challenge focuses on motivating children to read 20 minutes a day at least five days a week to prevent the summer slide.

Is your child a pre-reader? That’s fine. You can read to your child 20 minutes a day instead. Young adults and adults are able to play book bingo that will allow them to enter to win one of our gorgeous prize baskets.

Our summer reading theme this year is "Oceans of Possibilities." Living in a landlocked state doesn’t mean we can’t explore the ocean, it just means we have to get a little creative. Books and databases allow us to explore anywhere we can imagine.

The library staff have so many fun programs planned so children and adults can set sail and join us on this summer’s adventure. We are very pleased to be partnering with The Food Group again this year to offer Books and a Bite. The Monday through Friday program begins at 11 a.m. and is open to all ages. The Food Group provides a free sack lunch to children, and a librarian reads stories outside while the kids eat and chat.

In addition to Books and a Bite, we will have story times, crafts for kids and teens, a new book discussion group, Free-build Friday and all day drop-in programs on Saturdays.

To view our entire summer schedule, see sheridanwyolibrary.org or stop by in person. Set a course to the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library. There’s something fun to do every day beginning June 13 at our 2 p.m. program kickoff event.

Zola Shockley is programming coordinator for the Sheridan County Public Library System.

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