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Use your imagination

Monroe Public Library's summer reading program 'reinvented' for 2020

Submitted Photo
Grab and go activity kits are available for kids every Wednesday at the Monroe Public Library as a part of the summer reading program.
Submitted Photo Grab and go activity kits are available for kids every Wednesday at the Monroe Public Library as a part of the summer reading program.

A "reinvented summer reading program: COVID style." Using the "Imagine Your story" theme, the librarians at Monroe Public Library are making the very popular program fun and accessible to help keep kids reading throughout the warm summer months.

"The Monroe Public Library is very good at being flexible with our space limits, whether when we planned to utilize the city park and my medical leave last year," librarian Brenda Tripp-Lanser said. "I love to get creative and think outside the box."

The program will have two parts this year, since normal in-person activities can't take place. The reading portion has kids keeping track of the time they read and marking down each 15 minute segment with a sticker. As the stickers accumulate prizes are earned at the seven, 15, 30 and 50 sticker milestones. The reading challenge packets are available at the library and runs through July 15.

The second part of the program is the introduction of activity kits for kids. With the entertainment options taken away due to the pandemic, Tripp-Lanser decided to find another way for kids get active.

"Because the second most important part of our summer reading programming is introducing the youth of Monroe to a variety of quality entertainment free of charge and this obviously cannot happen because we have canceled all programming for the present pandemic, I was thinking about when I was a kid my mom and dad used to fix us fun kits to enjoy when we took road trips. I took this idea and ran with it," Tripp-Lanser said. "The funding from local businesses we funneled into purchasing craft supplies, paper to copy coloring pages, recipes and scavenger hunt suggestions. The idea is to give the children the supplies and prompting them to be creative, use their imagination and work with the family to inspire some fun activities."

The new grab and go fun kits are available at the library each Wednesday through July 1. The kits are available while supplies last and are limited to two per household.

"Our hope is to make life easier and give a little direction to the parents or caregivers to 'change things up a bit' for our toddler and elementary youth," Tripp-Lanser said.

Story time at the library will take place at 11 a.m. each Monday. Storytelling and singing will be live on the library's Facebook page for all to enjoy.

The library also is open during normal hours but adjustments have been made due to the pandemic. No toys are available, there are no restrooms accessible and they ask customers to check out their own books.

"We are asking that each individual uses a grab and go approach. The kids get a kick out of it because I tell them that they would make a great librarian," Tripp-Lanser said. "We have a great bond with our community and youth of Monroe and they are just glad they can explore and see new books and movies."

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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