A variety of activities have been planned by the Wetumpka Public Library to encourage children to read through the months of June and July. 

The theme “Imagine Your Story” will be celebrated throughout the six-week program scheduled to start June 9.

While many activities for children have moved online, such as school and extracurriculars, children’s librarian Cathy Saylor said many events she planned for the summer are designed to get kids outside.

“I think there are a lot of online (activities for kids) right now,” she said. “I decided to do less online activities and thought of engaging them in a different way.”

Saylor hopes the program gives kids an appreciation for reading and for Wetumpka.

“Now that school is out, I hope they continue to read, have fun and engage with their community,” she said. “That’s what these activities are intended to do. I don’t know what I would have done without books these last eight weeks.”

Saylor said the program is intended for kids entering grades first through eighth and includes things such as a scavenger hunt of downtown Wetumpka, bingo and more.

“The scavenger hunt will take place at many businesses in downtown Wetumpka,” Saylor said. “There will be a picture of a book taped to the window of a store for one week. Kids will be able to walk through downtown with their clues and write down the title of the book when they find it.”

Each activity will last one week, can be done in a family setting and materials are available in front of the library or requested from the library staff via curbside delivery.

“Every effort will be made by the library to have a safe and accessible program this summer,” Saylor said. “This is more doing and reading and finding things.”

The program does not require preregistration. 

Parents may pick up the materials from the library and do the activities on their own time.

Children will also have the opportunity to fill out a reading log for prizes.

Saylor said previous summer reading programs were well attended.

“It would be 80 kids (one week) and 60 (another week),” she said. “Typically, we would have 70 — a good number of kids.”

Previous summers the programs involved the kids coming together in large groups to learn and have fun.

“The zoo would bring animals,” Saylor said. “It was all a bunch of kids at the (Wetumpka) Civic Center doing activities.”

She said the 2020 summer reading program was already planned in early 2020 making it a challenge to readjust.

“Ordinarily, we hired performers to come in each week,” she said. “That had been done (for this summer). They were all lined up. The greatest challenge was to start from scratch in March. We had to rethink the program in a different way than we had planned and plan a program that fits Wetumpka.” 

For more information, call the Wetumpka Public Library at 334-567-1308 or visit www.wetumpkalibrary.com.