OPL’s Summer Reading Program warms up with June registration

Summer-Reading-Program-PNWWhat to do with the children this summer? Oneida Public Library invites parents and guardians to sign up their children 6 to 14 years of age during the month of June in one or more free programs in the rich and varied OPL Summer Reading Program 2016.

Of the four out of seven SRP programs requiring registration, the first up is Mission to Mars, a four-session exploration of the planet Mars, from “cadet training” for a manned flight to experiments in space-rocket propulsion. Mission to Mars will meet on Wednesday afternoons at 2:00 p.m., July 6-27. Materials for the experiments will be provided.

Budding young actors can get a chance to practice their improvisational skills in a two-week OPL Children’s Summer Theater workshop called “Characters in Search of a Play.” In the workshop, half the young actors will learn to portray “real” characters from a “real” NASA mission to a moon of Saturn while the other half will portray actors auditioning for the roles of the “real” characters in a play called “The Moon of Saturn.” Presiding over the workshop as well as the play within the play will be director Tom Lemery, assisted by Kayli Wilson as drama coach.

This OPL Children’s Summer Theater workshop will meet in the mornings from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, July 11-15 and July 18-22. The workshop will conclude with a workshop performance tentatively scheduled for July 22. The cast is limited to 15 children who are 8 to 14 years old. Pre-registration is required.

The OPL Children’s Summer Theater is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and administered by CNY Arts.

For adventurous family fun, the OPL’s summer programming includes “The Scavenger Hunt To Beat All,” an 11-day competitive hunt starting on Monday, July 25, at 9:00 a.m. and ending with a “Judgment Day” on Thursday, August 4, at 10:00 a.m.

Armed with their own cameras, official OPL Scavenger Hunt Notebooks and the list of questions as of 9:00 a.m. on July 25, children and adult family members team up and hunt down their quarries around town to provide the best answers in photographs and short written persuasive essays to 21 weird, silly and intriguing questions. On August 4, family teams submit their notebooks for evaluation and “merit” points determined by 21 judges at the OPL. Highest point scorers will win prizes. Refreshments will be served while the contestants await the judges’ decisions.

The number of participating families will be limited. Any family with children aged 6 through 14 years can reserve one of the limited number of official OPL Scavenger Hunt Notebooks by signing up at the library check-out desk or by calling 363-3050. Only one notebook per family will be provided.

The final children’s program requiring registration, Lego Robots on the March, is an intensive one-week workshop, Monday through Friday, August 15-19, involving 14 aspiring engineers who have completed fourth grade but are no older than 14 years. In the workshop, running from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., participants will build electronically controlled robots with Legos and power packs under the supervision of Ralph Kohler, Jr., and Tandy Paugh from the U.S. Air Force Laboratory in Rome.

The Lego robot workshop, which is now in its fourth year at the OPL, is an edition of the First Lego League, a nationwide program sponsored by the U.S. Air Force Laboratory to promote the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by young people. The goal is also to encourage young people to think how robotic engineering can improve society and the quality of life of its citizens.

SRP programs not requiring registration include a special workshop for bicycle riders 8 years old and older called Sprockets to Spokes: An Adventure in Bike Repair, which features young Ben Wormuth from Fayetteville. On Thursday afternoon, July 21, at 2:00 p.m., he will cover chain and tire maintenance, brake tuning and bike fitting. The hands-on workshop will allow up to 20 participants to practice the techniques Wormuth will demonstrate.

Also in July is a special Saturday morning program for preschoolers and kindergarteners and their fathers, mothers or caregivers on July 26 at 11:00 a.m. Led by Jacob Abbuhl, the “Summer Is Storytime” program will celebrate summer with stories, picture books, games and special four-footed guests from Wanderers’ Rest Humane Association.

Preschoolers will also get their own special program series in August when The Little Red Wagon returns on Friday mornings at 10:00 a.m., August 5-26. The program offers stories and games plus activities designed to boost the youngsters’ pre-reading skills.

Rounding out the summer are two special events celebrating the publication of two new books. On Monday August 1 at 3:00 p.m., children of all ages are invited to a publication party for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” the eighth story concocted by J. K. Rowlings and made into a play by Jack Thorne that will premiere in London July 31. Party-goers, who are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Potter characters or as mere Muggles, will compete in a Harry Potter trivia contest, share refreshments and listen to a dramatic reading of the opening scenes of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

The second literary event is the introduction of the interactive board book “Move” by the authors Lolly Hopwood and Yo Yo Kusters on Saturday, August 13, at 11:00 a.m. With illustrations by Luke Flowers, the book aims to prompt young children to “perform physical activities utilizing the book’s die-cut holes and handles.” With music and verve, the authors will conduct an interactive show involving the book, activities and coloring.

All programs in the OPL’s Summer Reading Program are free and open to the public. To register for specific programs or to get more information, stop by the Oneida Library, 220 Broad St., or call 315-363-3050.

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