Copperas Cove Public Library kicks off annual Summer Reading Program
By BRITTANY FHOLER
This year’s Summer Reading program at the Copperas Cove Public Library looks a bit different due to the need for smaller groups, mask-wearing and social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The library kicked off its Summer Reading Program for 2020 with smaller groups of different ages on Tuesday and Wednesday, instead of the usual big group shows, which often had crowds of more than 100 kids. All participants over age 10 were required to wear a mask.
“It’s very different,” said Library Director Kevin Marsh. “We had no big kick-off show, and we’ll have no big weekly shows, so instead of having paid entertainers come in to put on a big production, we’re not going to be able to do any of that because it involves getting a large group together in one room. What we will be doing is small groups that meet together in that same small group all summer, so it just minimizes the risk.”
With seats set up to allow for social distancing, kids and their parents had the opportunity to observe demonstrations of medieval style jousting done by Library Director Kevin Marsh and other members of the Stronghold of Hellsgate, which is the Central Texas branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
The demonstrators used blunt-tip wooden weapons and real metal armor. When they were “hit”, the demonstrators would say, ‘Yes’ to signify they were wounded.
In between the fighting demonstrations, Marsh spoke with the crowd of less than a dozen pre-teens and teenagers about the summer’s theme of fairytales and mythology and how that can correlate with current times.
Although there may not be actual evil villains or monsters in real life, there are still things like hunger and poverty that could be considered evil, Marsh explained.
After the show, Marsh said that he expects the numbers of attendance to be down significantly compared to previous years, but the program is open to those who are interested.
“Just keeping it as safe as we can while giving a chance to offer some reading materials to the kids to kind of get their minds going, to get them engaged, to check their reading logs, and award them with prizes for what they’re doing and to have some fun,” Marsh said.
Marsh said he felt like this was an important program even more so in light of the pandemic.
“A lot of kids left on spring break thinking they’d have the week off, and then ended up having a very unusual school experience for the rest of the year, and so their brains have not been as engaged and they’ve been spending a lot of time being at home, being a little more isolated and being worried,” Marsh said. “I mean, everyone’s concerned about this. No one has a lot of experience dealing with a pandemic like this, so we want the kids to get a little normalcy, a little chance to do some of the things that they’ve done before and yet also a chance to see other people in a safe and controlled way.”
For more information on the Library Summer Reading Program, parents can contact the Library staff by phone at 254-547-3826.