South Charlotte

Kids can check out plenty of fun at the library

At Karaoke Kids, one of several programs sponsored by the Steele Creek Library to bring children to the library for activities over the summer, participants in first through fifth grades are treated to popcorn, drinks and singing from lyrics projected on a screen.

Amid refrains of “She'll be Comin' Round the Mountain,” parents and peers joined in the singing and greeted each performance with applause.

Registration for summer library programs like this one has reached a high this year, officials say. It appears that parents are concerned about keeping their children engaged during summer vacation. Perhaps because of the rising price of gas, many are not going out of town. Instead, they are turning to the library as one venue for stimulation.

“The whole summer is built around bringing kids to the library to read,” says Shern Saunders, library assistant. “To create a lifelong reader, you have to give kids the chance to read for fun.”

In that vein, the library also has a summer reading club that lasts nine weeks. Children are urged to identify interests that they are enthusiastic about and to choose books on those subjects.

The goal is for each child to achieve 20 hours of reading, with prizes given at 10 and 20 hours. From the children who finish the program, a drawing is held and the winner gets tickets to Tweetsie Railroad.

The program encourages children to learn to love the experience of coming to the library. Going forward are several other programs: “Fun around the Campfire” with stories, songs and games; “Pajama Rama,” where 2- to 5-year-olds and their caregivers come for a bedtime story; reading with therapy dogs; and “All about Amphibians” for kindergarteners through fifth graders, which includes a visit to the Nature Museum. There's also a free ice cream social and movie for summer reading members on July 31.

The library is laid out in a kid-friendly way, so that even the youngest customers can navigate the stacks. The participants come from the Steele Creek area, Pineville, Lake Wylie, and Fort Mill. Although the library is only four years old, the increase in use threatens to stretch the facilities.

More information on these and other summer programs is available on handouts at the library at 13620 Steele Creek Road. Or call 704-588-4345.