(Belcamp, Maryland – June 11, 2012) Harford County Public Library (HCPL) kicked off its Summer Reading Program, Dream Big, on Monday, June 11th at all of its 11 branches. A special surprise was waiting for children of all ages as they entered the Bel Air Library where they were greeted by Tales, the Library mascot and Ferrous, the Ironbirds mascot!
“What a great way to build early literacy skills for our youngest readers by participating in the Summer Reading Program. Plus, we make it a fun experience with incentives, programs and activities for all ages,” stated Library Director Mary Hastler. “And this year we anticipate our Dream Big program to attract a record number of participants. In 2011, there were more than 18,000 children and teens that joined the program and in the past five years the library has seen an increase in the number of participants by over 17 percent and our completion rate has increased by over 21%.”
Community support for the Summer Reading Program also continues to climb in record numbers. This year’s sponsors include Har-Co Federal Credit Union, Huether McClelland Foundation, Best Buy, Rosedale Federal Savings and Loan, Berardino Family Trust, Aberdeen Rotary, APG Federal Credit Union, Wegmans, Celebree, Growing Smiles, Darlington Friends of HCPL and The Aegis. Sponsors were in attendance at the Bel Air and Fallston libraries for the kickoff
“We are once again so excited about the level of support we have received for the Summer Reading Program. We had many sponsors return again this year which speaks highly of the partnerships we have created and continue to sustain, plus we had several new organizations join us,” commented Library Foundation Director, Amber Shrodes. “We are fortunate to live in a community where the Library receives such outstanding support.”
“HAR-CO is proud to continue their community commitment in supporting the Harford County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program,” said Diane Moore of HAR-CO Maryland Federal Credit Union. “We recognize the importance of summer reading and want to support the Library’s efforts in reaching the children in our community.”
Ashley Douglas of Celebree Learning Centers further commented on the importance of early literacy skills. “Celebree is committed to kindergarten readiness and understands the critical role that early literacy plays in ensuring that our youth are ready for school. The Summer Reading program provides the perfect opportunity to capture our youngest children and engage them in fun, interactive reading skills all summer long.”
Children and teens can sign up for the Summer Reading program at any Library branch. The Read To Me program is for the youngest readers birth through pre-school, and they are encouraged to listen to 25 books; elementary school participants can Dream Big and read 10 books; middle school and high school teens can participate in Own The Night and read 3 books. Children birth through elementary school receive a book when they complete the program; middle school students can select a book or journal and high school students will receive a $5 Best Buy gift card when they complete. Incentives are while supplies last.
Throughout the summer the library will have programs and fun for everyone. Children can dream big with singer-songwriter Tracey Eldridge, meet the creatures of Critter Caravans, get inside a bubble with the Bubble Lady, be amazed by Magician Mike Rose, sing along with Maria Broom and join in balloon fun with the Extreme Balloon Man Steven Gambrill. Candy and Cupcake, The Maryland Science Center, National Aquarium and the Maryland Zoo will also be visiting the Library branches.
All participants will also have the chance to win tickets to see the Orioles and one lucky winner will get to go on the field for the pre-game ceremony!
The Harford County Public Library Summer Reading Program runs from June 11th through August 18th. Please visit hcplonline.org or pick up a Headlines & Happenings Newsletter at any of the Library’s 11 branches for more information.
Harford County Public Library operates eleven branches located throughout Harford County, Maryland. The library serves over 210,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of almost 4,700,000. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading within the community.
The Harford County Public Library Foundation is a 501© 3 charitable organization established to raise funds to augment the financial resources of the Library and to promote awareness of Library services. For more information call 410 273 5601 x2283.
Photo caption #1: Children get to meet Tales, the Library mascot and Ferrous, the Ironbirds mascot at the Summer Reading Kickoff at the Bel Air Library on June 11th.
Photo caption #2: Back row: (left to right) Annie Kovach, Assistant Branch Manager, Bel Air Library; Tales, HCPL mascot; Tammy Bowings, Rosedale Federal; Cynthia Hergenhahn, President, Abingdon Friends of HCPL; Beth LaPenotiere, Branch Manager, Bel Air Library; Diane Moore, Har-Co Federal Credit Union; Beth Hendrix, Director, Harford County Department of Community Services; Mary Hastler, Director, Harford County Public Library; Claudia Holman, APGFCU; Rhawnie Singletary, Wegmans.
Second row: (left to right) Amber Shrodes, Director, HCPL Foundation; Kelly Parker, Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry; Renee Dreyer, Har-Co Federal Credit Union; Ashley Douglas, Celebree; Squiggle, Celebree mascot.
Front row: (left to right) Stacy Rumsey-Patrick, Wegmans; Erin Enright, Celebree; Karen Lookingbill, Celebree; Carolyn Riffel, Tiny Toes.