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Ellijay, GA
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Dive into summer reading program

Ron Vedder allows kids to pet Rascal, a ring-tailed lemur, during “Safari Sam’s Jungle Adventure” at the conclusion of last year’s summer reading program at the Gilmer County Library. (Photo by Whitney Crouch)
by Whitney Crouch

Free, quality entertainment can be difficult to find, but the Gilmer County Library is hosting numerous fun-filled activities that fit into that category during the 2015 summer reading program.

Heather Parker, the library’s new youth coordinator, challenges kids and adults alike to sign up for the local reading initiative and take part in the variety of programming being offered over the next few weeks.

“It’s fun and you can earn prizes,” she observed before adding, “summer reading is important so the kids do not lose the skills they’ve gained over the school year.”

The library’s busy summer schedule will kick off Thursday, June 4, with a 4 p.m. performance by B.B. Fuzz.

“Combine a trumpet, a fuzzy green guy and a bad case of ‘rhymitis,’ and kids of all ages will be singing, laughing and dancing with the hilarious B.B. Fuzz,” promises a library brochure.

As another special summer reading event, the Gilmer County Library will celebrate its 75th anniversary Friday, June 26. Magician Bill Parkard will host programs at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Summer reading
program details

Many of this year’s summer reading activities are focusing on superheroes, and in keeping with this theme, the children from birth to fifth grade are invited to take part in the “Every Hero has a Story” program this summer.  

Participants will receive a reading log in which to record the books they have completed, as well as a coupon for a free treat. As the kids reach different reading goals, they earn additional meal coupons for area restaurants and will be entered into a drawing for a grand prize.

Teens who are entering sixth through 12th grade can also earn rewards for meeting their reading goals this summer by registering for the “Unmask!” program.

Adults are invited to dive into their own literary adventures through the “Escape the Ordinary” challenge. Upon completing a book, participants are encouraged to submit a book review at the library or by visiting for a chance to win a prize bag.

For more information or to register for any of the summer reading programs, visit the circulation desk at the local library.

Activities for kids, teens

In addition to offering reading incentives, the Gilmer County Library is hosting an abundance of activities for local children and teens over the course of the summer.

Family story times and craft activities for kids of all ages will take place Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m., and lap-sit story times will be held Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. The latter weekly event is designed for one to three-year-olds. Following these programs, kids can eat a free lunch at the library through the Gilmer County Charter School System’s Seamless Summer Nutrition Program.

Some of the upcoming story-time themes include superheroes the week of June 8, animal heroes the week of June 15, heroes on patrol the week of June 22 and dastardly villains the week of June 29.

Crafts for kids age six and older will be held Wednesdays at 3 p.m. Upcoming programs include a “Bugs at Play” puppet show and craft June 10 and a taste test and informative program on making herb butter June 17.

Events for the whole family to enjoy are on the docket for Thursday afternoons throughout the summer at 3 p.m. Nancy Fangles the balloon lady will visit with kids June 11, followed by Luna the tooth fairy June 18 and Ellijay Police Chief Edward Lacey June 25.

The library also is offering a full slate of tween and teen activities throughout the summer.

Tuesdays at 3 p.m., kids ages nine and up can enjoy superhero themed programs. June 9 kids are invited to bring a solid color T-shirt and make a bleached hero costume. Then on June 16, they can watch the movie “The Incredibles” and create tie-dye masks. Linda Kotula of the Civil Air Patrol will present a program about aviation legend Amelia Earhart June 23. The movie “Harry Potter: Prisoner of Azkaban” will be shown June 30 and attendees will have the chance to make a snitch craft.

Super Fridays are geared toward teens in grades six through 12. The activities will take place at 3 p.m. each week, and some of the upcoming events include a beading project related to “Guardians of the Galaxy” June 12, making a Doctor Who frame June 19 and creating a duct tape ID holder June 26.

Programming will continue throughout July as well and the summer reading program will conclude Aug. 7.

To learn more

These are just a few of the many activities scheduled at the local library for this summer.

For more information on summer programs at the Gilmer County Library, call at (706) 635-4528, visit or stop by the Gilmer County Library facility located at 268 Calvin Jackson Drive in Ellijay beside Mountain View Elementary.
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