Summer reading programs are in full swing

Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 12:56

Things are hopping at neighborhood libraries all across the city as the Summer Reading Celebration swings into its last month. As many of you know, for the second year in a row, the minutes you read and report to the library help raise money for our Readers to the Rescue project. If the people of Anchorage read 300,000 minutes by the end of July, Friends of the Library will donate $1,000 to Heifer International. Heifer, a 65-year-old organization, works to end hunger and poverty worldwide by giving families animals and training on how to care for them. In return, the families agree to give one of their animal's offspring to another family in need. Get more info at

This community-wide reading incentive is for all ages! Adults — win prizes for yourself and add your minutes to the community total. Go to to sign up today to share reviews (can be brief) of what you are reading and how many hours you read. If you're reading this summer, why not channel time spent reading to a worthy cause? You don't have to raise any money or go find sponsors — just read and keep track of your time.

By third week of June, we had only 100,027 minutes — 33.34% of our goal! Our community's got to do some heavy reading in July to reach the 300,000-minute goal and earn the $1,000 donation to Heifer. Kids, you only need 1,000 minutes of reading to earn your "A Library Champion Lives Here" yard sign. Let's prove that we are a passionate reading community and bring this baby home by the end of July!

Libraries have been especially packed on the days the special Summer Reading Celebration programs are scheduled. The Chugiak-Eagle River Neighborhood Library programs in July include:

• The Imaginarium presents a program on reptiles that features four live representatives of the five major reptile families. Kids will learn the characteristics that make these creatures unique in the animal kingdom at 1 p.m., Thursday, July 7.

• The Roustabout Circus, with clowns, jugglers, acrobats and a magician, will stage a show Thursday, July 14, at 1 p.m.

• The Alaska Zoo explains its program for caring for injured and orphaned animals, with the help of Chance, a red fox, on Thursday, July 21, at 1 p.m.

• Fiddle De Dee plays interactive music for the very young for sing-along, play-along fun on Friday, July 29, at 11 a.m.

For older kids, Loussac's Teen Underground, a space designed and equipped with teens specifically in mind, opened June 10, and has attracted teens from across the city. A major goal of the 2009 Library Community Plan, TU offers teens a place to study, research, collaborate and interact in a stimulating and safe environment. Among the technology featured in the TU are a whiteboard, iPads, MacBooks and several gaming consoles.

The space is also being used for a number of free workshops in July. The Alaska Teen Media Institute leads sessions every Thursday from 2 to 5 p.m. for teens interested in short films, documentaries and technical video production. Topics are: July 7: Intro to video; July 14: What's a good video?; July 21: Editing; July 28: Editing Part 2. Show up for several or all the sessions.

Also scheduled is "Your Alaska: Online Travel 'Zine' for aspiring writers", ages 12-15, on July 18-22 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Hosted by the 49 Alaska Writing Center and led by a published travel writer, the goal of this workshop is for teens to create, write and take photos for an online travel magazine for other kids. Go to to sign up or call 388-9303. Space is limited.

Toni Massari McPherson is the Community Relations Coordinator for Anchorage Public Library. For library news, go to or


This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, July 6, 2011.

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