Tumbler Ridge Children Catch the Bug!

The Tumbler Ridge Library held the summer reading program wrap up on Tuesday August 14, 2007. The library had been transformed to fit the theme of ?Catch the Reading Bug?. Insects hung from the ceiling, artwork splattered the walls and books about bugs were strategically placed to entice children to read them. The children of Tumbler Ridge were treated with an assortment of educational activities and art projects that surrounded the bug catching theme. Joanne Ferrari, program administrator, said that the reading program was ?very successful?.

For the past six weeks, children of all ages were given the opportunity to participate in arts and crafts twice a week and story time Tuesday through Friday. Babies ages 0-2 years attended lapsit Thursday mornings for songs, rhymes, stories and playtime. The teen reading club held arts and craft sessions and movie nights. Erin Peats, who was involved in the teen program, said the movie nights were successful with up to thirty-five children in attendance.

A highlight of the teen program was Duct Tape Fashion. Teens created intriguing fashions including dresses, bags and purses out of duct tape. Teens also participated in tie-dying t-shirts, making hemp bracelets and writing short stories and poems for contests.

Guest speakers from the community participated in the program. Ms. Ferrari said that it was these guests that really excited children as they broadened their knowledge on a variety of topics. Weekly themes brought new faces. Chris White spoke to a group of children on littering and the importance of keeping our town clean. Joan Zimmer, who is a local artist, spoke about art and nature. Leslie Buck spoke to children on the interaction between plants and bugs. Jean Pawlucki explained to children what an author is, what an illustrator does and what someone has to do get a book published. Katherine Haerter, from the Child Care Resource and Referral(CCRR) program in Dawson Creek, spoke to moms at lapsit about resources the CCRR program offers to parents. The CCRR also provided toys for the lapsit program.

Volunteers are always a welcome in the library, especially for a program as large as this one. Michele Burton, library manager, said that there were a small group of tweens who dedicated 117 hours to the summer reading program. Ms. Burton explained that the hours the tweens worked helped library staff focus on bigger projects.

The closing ceremonies for the reading program was Tuesday August 14th. A quiz by Ms. Ferrari about bugs and insects warmed the children up for the festivities. If a child answered a question right a gold medal was their reward. The excitement spread and eager hands waved tirelessly so they could answer questions such as, ?what do bugs eat?? and ?what insect looks like a twig with legs?? As the children moved outside they were elated to find balloons, cake and a very large table with incredible prizes. Their eyes were wide as they waited. Ms. Ferrari started the formal ceremonies with a welcome to all present and a large thank you to the tireless tweens who volunteered. The three top readers, who were not in attendance, were announced. The top readers are: Wray Strong 1 yr, Noah Tobin Age 7 and Marley Blake age 9. The remainder of the readers who handed in their reading logs were also presented prizes that are age appropriate. Ms. Burton said that the prizes are given as an encouragement to read and all prizes are funded by donations. In total 551 children and 60 teens participated in the summer reading program. There were over 2000 books read.