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Summer reading program presents delightful story time opportunity

Once upon a time, a precocious kindergartener fell in love with reading. Encouraged by her parents, she learned to read her very first book – “Orla’s Upside-Down Day.” With a measure of courage and confidence she would unfortunately not quite retain as she grew older, she proudly sat on a stool and read the book aloud in front of her entire kindergarten class.

Although I haven’t been able to hang onto quite the measure of self-assurance I possessed then, I have certainly held onto that love of reading. Graduating from “Orla’s Upside-Down Day” to “Charlotte’s Web” to the Harry Potter books and beyond, reading is the only hobby I have carried with me throughout my life – and I know it’s one many of you share.

Reading to others brings a special kind of pleasure, and Ashley Cummins at Russellville Public Library was kind enough to give me that opportunity this past weekend. Instead of staring out into the wondering eyes of fellow kindergarteners, however, I found myself staring into an iPhone camera – recording myself reading “Rapunzel,” “Mike Fink” and a story from “13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffery” as part of RPL’s Summer Reading Program.

RPL is relying on a number of virtual and take-home avenues to be able to offer a summer program this year, in deference to continued concerns about the coronavirus, and I was so pleased to join a slate of guest readers to record themselves sharing stories with young bookworms of Russellville and Franklin County.

Speaking aloud is not necessarily a strong talent for me – one of many reasons I chose print media over broadcast journalism – but it was certainly a pleasure to read these great stories aloud.

So if you want to see yours truly – and other community members – trying to inspire a love of reading in the next generation, check out the Russellville Public Library’s Facebook page this summer. Story time videos will go up each Tuesday, Friday and Saturday for “Tall Tale Tuesday,” “Fairytale Friday” and “Spooky Story Saturday.”

It’s not too late to sign your kiddos up for this year’s program! Just call the library today. And more good news – you don’t have to sign up to watch the Facebook story times. They will be available for everyone.