Wetumpka reading program

For the first time ever, the Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery and the Wetumpka Public Library are partnering to offer the Tails and Tales free summer reading program to local children.

The program kicks off on June 8 and ends July 20. Each session will take place on Tuesdays at the Wetumpka Civic Complex from 2-3:30 p.m.

The reading program is open to kids in the first through sixth grade. Space is limited, so parents are urged to register their child(ren) as soon as possible.

Five of the seven sessions are art-related and are sponsored by The Kelly. Cookie Knott, The Kelly’s education chairwoman, said the art programs are being funded through a $2,400 grant from the Central Alabama Community Foundation.

On June 15, Ricky Trione, a blind artist from Fairhope, will teach the kids how to draw a red-bellied turtle, the state’s reptile. On June 22, under the direction of Wetumpka High School art teacher Adriane Duvall, the children will create fish mosaics, and on June 29 the kids will make a wax painting of the Tulotoma Snail.

The children will learn how to draw using natural materials on July 6 and a handmade book will be constructed on July 13. The final session will feature a slideshow recapping the children’s experiences and the kids will participate in a trivia game based on the information they learned throughout the program.

Children’s librarian Cathy Saylor said there will be opportunities for children to win prizes throughout the program. As children reach their reading goal for the week, their names will be entered into a weekly drawing. Saylor will draw 10 names each week and those kids will get a prize.

During the last session, overall reading awards will be given to the top reader in each grade level.

“This partnership is an new and exciting twist to the program,” Saylor said. “We hope this program will encourage children to keep reading over the summer while offering fun and enriching experiences combining books and art.”

The Friends of the Wetumpka Library is also assists with the program by helping to provide the prizes for kids as well as volunteers to help with the sessions.

“Whatever we need, they’re always there to help us,” Saylor said. “They’ve always been a great supporter.”

To register for the program, stop by the library to complete a registration form, or print out and complete a form and then drop it off at the library. Registration must be complete by June 8.

More volunteers are also needed to help with the program. To volunteer, contact Saylor at 567-1308 or Knott at 531-6930.