Tailes and Tales

GREENSBURG — The Greensburg/Decatur County Public Library, with the support of Honda and several local businesses, have launched the 2021 summer reading program “Tails and Tales.”

“This year, the library is back with a full summer reading program,” said GPL Youth Services Director Jill Pratt.

Last year around this time, most everything was shut down, turned off, or cancelled due to the pandemic. Everyone knew that we should social distance and wear a mask. But this year, as Pratt explained, the sky’s (almost) the limit.

“We’re very fortunate that we have a nice lawn area on the west of our building, so we can move all our programs outside to preserve the social distancing caution, and when it rains, fortunately, there’s plenty of space inside as well,” she said.

Pratt and the library staff are pleased with the return of their clientele since the pandemic caution has eased. In 2019, their summer readership was an astounding 1,500 youth participants.

In 2020, because the library was closed with services available by curbside only, readership participating in summer reading programs only topped 500.

“I am still very optimistic about this year because we are at nearly 700 so far,” Pratt said. “We usually go into the schools every year and talk to the students, and this year we didn’t get to, but I think we’ll still have lots of fun!”

The reading program for this summer is online through the reading program “READsquared,” available at www.glibrary.readsquared.com.

READsquared is for readers age infant to 17 and is designed to encourage life-long reading habits. As they finish off each of the first four reading levels, participants receive a small reward. Each minute of reading equals 1 point and readers must accumulate 800 points to finish all levels.

“They can go to the READsquare webpage to access the program, or they download the app on their phone, but the main thing is to keep kids engaged in reading over the summer months because reading is just like any other skil, you can lose it if you don’t use practice it,” said Pratt.

Pratt said the best way to get children ready for school is to read with them, and the READsquared app helps.

The theme “Tails and Tales” incorporates all sorts of varied activities involving animals and summer like “Plant a Pet” (planting the short-lived summer perennial flower of the same name), and some things just for the fun of it like getting a tasty summer treat from theKona Snow Cone truck or dying T-shirts as a family.

Readers can drop off their teddy bears or other stuffed animal for a sleep-over at the library on Thursday, June 10 for a special (and clever) treat.

The library staff will take care of the cherished creatures and take photos of all the fun and mischief they get into during their very own “Night at the Library.” Readers can return to pick them up the next day and enjoy a special story time and breakfast snack with their adventuring stuffed fuzzy friends.

Silly Safaris will be visiting at the new Rebekah Park Amphitheater at 6 p.m. June 23, and the library will be partnering with the local animal shelter so that families can meet some special dogs and cats looking for their very own “forever home.” Children who aren’t able to take home a forever pet will be allowed to craft a special treat for the animals to take back with them to the shelter.

In addition to Honda, Wendy’s, Dairy Queen and Sonic Drive In are partnering with the library to make fun for the summer possible.

“We just want people to know that we are open and we’re ready to make summer reading fun!” Pratt finished.

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext 217011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com

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