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Library rolling out children's summer reading programming

Children’s summer reading through the Greenwood County Library system is launching Monday via story times, puppet shows and games, all online, along with virtual learning resources and a digital library, during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Hardcover books are also available to be checked out from library system branches in Greenwood, Ninety Six and Ware Shoals. Check the library homepage for information on available titles and branch hours. All bookmobile stops are canceled until further notice.

Available virtual content for children ranges from options for newborns through teens, as well as an all-ages family story time. Offerings posted will change throughout the summer.

Access through the county library homepage: www2.youseemore.com/greenwood/

There, you will find links to programming for children, teens and adults and a link to sign up for the Greenwood County Library newsletter. Look for online sign ups for summer reading and log what you read, too. Keep track through the free app: READSquared.

Jody Gable, the library’s children’s services coordinator, has been with the library two years now. She said, this summer, the Greenwood library system is following a nationwide theme among library systems — “Imagine Your Story.”

“Secret codes from our summer online videos can add 10 points to your reading log,” Gable said. “Names of all the pre-kindergarten and up kids who get a certificate of completion for summer reading will be entered into a drawing. One name from each library branch in our county library system will be selected to win a Kindle Fire for Kids. Be sure when you sign up for the summer reading you sign up with your branch.

“Available for checkout, hardcover books are being cleaned at this time,” Gable said. “We are practicing social distancing and staff is wearing masks. Computer labs are set up for social distancing.”

With social distancing encouraged during the coronavirus pandemic, a number of things in the the children’s room at the main branch of the Greenwood library are different.

The puppet theater is off limits, as well as puzzles and other items often shared between children. Books displayed on tops of shelves have been shelved.

“We’ve been doing a lot of things behind the scenes to make online programming work this summer,” Gable said. “I’ve been working with Jessica Howard, our reference librarian and information technologies person. Prudence Taylor, library director, told us to be prepared for no events on-site in June and July...But, we aim for our online story times to include stories, songs and crafts. We will have a button you click on under the children’s program link that will take you to our videos on YouTube. There’s also a teen’s program button and their activities will be available there.”

For free, online access to children’s magazines is also being made available through Flipster, with titles including “National Geographic for Kids,” “Ranger Rick” and more. Magazine titles for adults are also available.

Gable said the library is even finding work-arounds with special story times such as Furry Tales that are typically hosted on site.

“We recently filmed a segment with a Humane Society of Greenwood volunteer, John Stephan, and a dog, Beans,” Gable said. “We read a story, a brand new South Carolina Picture Book Award nominee, ‘Can I Be Your Dog?’ by Troy Cummings.

“Our programming during the summer encourages reading for fun,” Gable added. “It helps prevent the summer slide and deficits that can occur from being out of school. Keep those reading skills up by having books available.

“Reading is even important for children not yet enrolled in school,” Gable said. “Eighty percent of children’s brain growth happens during the first three years of life.”

Contact St. Claire Donaghy: 864-992-8934

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