Armstrong Library summer program drawing crowds

Published 12:57 am Friday, June 29, 2007

NATCHEZ — About 50 children settled in for story time and fun Thursday afternoon as part of the George W. Armstrong Library’s summer program.

This year’s program has been especially successful, Children’s Librarian Janet Echols Minor said. More children have attended and more people have volunteered than in years past.

“This is the best one we’ve had so far,” Minor said. “And most of all, I’m very thankful for all the volunteers.”

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It’s no easy task holding a 6-year-old’s attention for an hour and a half, she said. Magic shows, story sessions and guest speakers do the trick, she said.

Some of those interesting things Thursday included T.C. the trash can and McGruff the Crime Dog.

Christopher Ambeau, 3, stared wide-eyed at the biggest bloodhound he’d ever seen. But he paused long enough to choose a pack of cards and a plastic ring from the treasure chest of toys, an incentive for reading.

Ami Gamberi, mother of Adam Phillips, 6, said the treasure chest was one part of what made the program successful.

“Every seven books he reads, he gets to pick a prize,” Gamberi said. “It has encouraged my child, who doesn’t like reading, to read.”

Rhonda Stevens’ daughter, Leah Stevens, 6, loves to read and looks forward to the Thursday sessions at the library.

“I have a child who reminds me every Thursday morning, ‘Today’s library day,’” Stevens said. “It’s great. It gives them something to do when it’s hot outside.”

Susan Graning brought her daughter, Baylee, 6, to the library every week.

“It gets kids excited about reading, and it gets them acclimated to the library,” she said. “My kid is reading-adverse. She’d rather play. But she likes it. I’m surprised.”

July 5 will be the last session of the summer reading program. The library will end the program with a bang, holding a party day from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

For more information, call the Armstrong Library at 601-445-8862.