Summer Reading Program participants get busy at field day
Cove Leader-Press 
The dog days of summer are for play which is what dozens of kids of all ages did at the Field Day of the Copperas Cove Public Library children’s summer reading program held Wednesday morning at the Copperas Cove Civic Center.
The children’s summer reading program, which is supported by the Copperas Cove Friends of the Library, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and Texas Commission for the Arts, started in mid-June and ends next week. The theme this year is “Exercise, Sports, Fitness”, according to Library Director Kevin Marsh. They decided to do a Field Day as one of the finale events to incorporate that theme. The event was originally supposed to have more outdoor activities but temperatures were warmer than anticipated, Marsh said.
Kids hula-hooped, played basketball, played baseball, kicked soccer balls, rode around on sit-on scooters, went through an obstacle course, did flips or tricks on a gymnastics mat or jumped rope. Planned activities included several rounds of fun with colorful parachutes and several rounds of musical chairs, directed by Nic Cantrell, Recreation Superintendent of the Parks and Recreation department.
“We wanted it to be family activities,” Martha Dye, Library Assistant in charge of children’s programs, said. “I was glad to see moms, dads, grandpas, little ones, all ages.”
Joanna Hambrick brought her son, Joseph, 9, and daughter, Sofia,4, to the Field Day. She said they went to their firs reading program event last week.
“When I went to the library just to get a library card, I didn’t know they were having also the reading thing,” Hambrick said. “It was pretty good. I decided I’ll have to take her [Sofia]more often. She really liked it.
”Christyn Vincent was there with her two sons, Christoffer, 12, Patrick, 10, and her daughter Sofie,7. They had been going to all the reading program and Vincent said her kids enjoyed most of them. 
“I think that it’s good to have activities for the kids to do and they’re not bored at home during the summer,” Vincent said.
She found out about the summer reading program due to a scout meeting being held at the library and called it a happenstance.
“I’m glad that they have that out there,” Vincent said. “You just have to be connected and take advantage.
”Next week to end the summer reading program, the Library will be having a “Dough Party” Pizza Party sponsored by Domino’s for the kids who have met their reading goal.
The last two years, the summer reading programs have beaten all previous re-cords for number of kids completing their reading goals, Marsh said.
“The number of kids who meet their reading goals is important because really what it’s about is kids not losing their reading skills during the summer,” Marsh said. “There’s a thing that teachers talk about called the summer slide where they’re reading at one level when the school year ends and after a summer of not reading, they come back and they’ve lost half a year’s of reading ability. By keeping them involved in reading, having fun and being motivated, we help prevent the slide, we help reverse the slide. There’ll be some of these kids who’ve been doing a lot of reading and they are going to be reading at a higher level this fall than they were when they left school in the spring.
”In addition to pizza and meal coupons from various restaurants, Cinergy Cinemas will be giving $10 gift cards to the arcade for each student who makes their reading goal, Marsh said.
Volunteers included several high school athletes as well as Rabbit Fest Royalty. Juan Jimenez, 16, said he found out about the volunteer opportunity from a coach at school.
“I said I would love to volunteer and help out the community,” Jimenez said. “I asked him ‘Does it help the community?’ and ‘Does it show kids a good example and how to have fun?’
”HEB and Chick-Fil-A provided snacks, including lemonade, cookies, grapes and carrots.


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