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franklin county times

Reading program turns final page

By By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
July 15, 2002
Seventeen children from the second- through fourth-grade sat cross-legged on the floor of the library as Gina Brackeen read from the book "Hotter than a Hot Dog."
Brackeen read the book one day last week, part of a summer program for children at the Meridian-Lauderdale County Public Library. Children also played games and watched a 1947 Tom &Jerry cartoon.
But the summer program wasn't all about games. Ramsey, a second-grader at Westend Elementary School in Meridian, said she also read 35 children's books this summer.
This marks the sixth and final week of the library's "Reading is a Picnic" program, with the last meetings scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
A program featuring a special guest from the Rainwater Observatory is set to take place on Thursday for children in the fourth through eighth grades.
The time for children to add books to their summer reading list has passed. Certificates and prizes will be awarded this week.
Sean Shumate, 7, had 48 books on his list, but couldn't pick a favorite. Krysta Davis, 7, who read 45 books, said her favorites were "How Much is that Doggy in the Window" and "Arthur Meets the President."
Even though the reading ended, the fun continued.
An almost even-numbered group of girls and boys sat silent last week for the beach picnic-themed reading and cartoon. Once the games started, the children immediately became excited.
The children passed beach balls around in a circle trying not to let them touch the ground; they crawled across the room like crabs; and they hopped around trying not to drop a slice of cardboard watermelon held between their legs.
Brackeen said the summer reading program brings in about 40 children each meeting in June. But by July, she said, attendance starts to drop.
For more information on this or other children's programs, call the library at: 693-6771.
For more information about "Reading is a Picnic" summer program and other children's programs at the Meridian-Lauderdale County Public Library, call the library at 693-6771.