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Kathy Frost helps Lucia Atendaye during the Musical Petting Zoo event on July 25. Submitted photo

Summer reading program a success

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The West Fargo Public Library staff had another fun year with their Summer Reading Program.

According to Program Director Diane Fink, this one of the best years ever in terms of participation and everyone having a really enjoyable time.

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A total of 442 youngsters and adults were involved in four different age groups -- Little Diggers (preschool), Dig Into Reading (kindergarten through grade 5), Beneath the Surface (grades 6,7 and 8) and Groundbreaking Reads (high school and adults) -- taking part in a wide variety of programming.

Fink said attendance high points were craft Mondays and a favorite, the Kids Garden Club. Also offered were a free magic show, with magic lessons for the middle school students, along with the Red River Traveling Zoo, and a Musical Petting Zoo presented by Eckroth Music where all were invited to actually touch and try many different instruments. One of the all-time favorite sessions was the "Bug Man," provided by Don Carey from the Department of Entomology at NDSU.

Blind date with a book proved to be a lot of fun for the high school and adult group. Those attending could pick a wrapped book to keep and read and then a program discussion focused on how their date went. Aa Teacups Book Club evolved from the program meeting once a month. Participants bring a cup along and the library offers a small snack and tea or lemonade to fill their cup and discuss selected books.

Fink said one of the biggest successes of the summer was the amount of accumulated reading minutes that the participants brought in. Each student was given a time log (as many as they needed) that they could fill out and bring to the library to receive reading incentives. "They wowed us with turning in 125, 878 minutes," Fink said enthusiastically. "Other years we kept track of how many books were read so I am not sure how it compares with previous years but even knowing that this number equals around 1,808 hours of reading is fantastic. This program is the most fun I have all year, seeing all the happy faces and knowing that we are part of making them lovers of books."

Fink added that this great program couldn't be offered free without all of the generous community backing. "Many contributors from our wonderful city help to keep this program growing and make it so we can still offer all of it free to participants. We are extremely grateful for all of their support."

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