Library hosting Reader Palooza

It replaces Family Literacy Festival

Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 2:25 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 2:25 p.m.

In lieu of the annual Family Literacy Festival, the Alachua County Library District will be hosting the Summer Reader Palooza with hands-on science activities to showcase this year's Summer Reading Program.



* What: The inaugural Summer Reader Palooza, with hands-on science activities

* When: 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 9.

* Where: Alachua County Library Headquarters, 401 E. University Ave.

* Information: Call 352-334-3909.

The Summer Reader Palooza will take place from 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 9 in the children's area at the Library Headquarters in downtown Gainesville at 401 E. University Ave. It is free and open to the community.

Erin Phemester, senior library manager of Youth Services, said the first-ever Summer Reader Palooza will be a family event and a celebration for participants in the library's Summer Reading Program, which runs through Aug. 17.

"This is a family program and a celebration of the work we've done at our summer reading," said Phemester, adding that the Palooza will replace the Family Literacy Festival, which was held in the fall for 25 years.

"Everyone that comes will have a good time," Phemester said. "Kids can try all the different stations and try out each different thing that strikes their fancy. Parents are welcome and expected to come."

Children attending will receive goodie bags with a book, stickers and other small gifts, which will be provided by the Friends of the Library.

James C. Albury, coordinator of the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium at Santa Fe College, will present an interactive astronomy program.

Nickie Kortus, marketing and public relations manager for the library district, said at the activity stations — offered by library staff and community organizations — participants will get a chance to create a geode, which is a hollow rock with crystal deposits; learn about beekeeping and explore the beekeeper's protective attire; make a snake puppet; try yoga; do some planting to take home; and dissect owl pellets.

There also will be an opportunity to still sign up for the Summer Reading Program. This year, 3,080 children, 1,081 teens and 509 adults have registered for the reading program.

Kortus said all children are invited to attend the Summer Reader Palooza to celebrate their summer reading accomplishments.

Phemester summed up the planned event.

"It will be a very energetic and exciting event with hands-on science activities to enhance the science theme," he said. "We're excited about holding this event for the first time and look forward to it becoming our annual celebration of summer reading."

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