Lots of reading has been going on in Pratt this summer. We had 240 children, 69 teens, and 53 adults enrolled in this year’s Summer Reading Program.

After completing a reading chart children received a book bag donated by Cox Communications and a book. The books were purchased through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Three hundred eleven reading charts were completed.

Teens who completed a reading chart got a prize and put their name in the weekly drawings for a $10 gift card donated by Sonic.

Adults enrolled in the Summer Reading Program put their name in a weekly drawing for a Subway gift card for each book they read. Teen drawing winners were Drew Taylor, Iziah Cook, Annie Bowman, Kassandria Fox, Shelby Fitzsimmons, Makenzie Allred, Jared Stamy, Cole Spreir, Jarrett Bates, and Emily Fox.

Adult drawing winners were Pat Brant, Farrah Schmidt, Connie Schartz, Rick Gerber, Genny Schmidt, Donna Gerber, Robin Colerick, Fran Brownell, Marajah Spreier, and Georgie Fowler.

During the course of the summer we had lots of fun activities for children, teens, and adults. Children’s programs included water games, painting projects, Lego Club, dance parties, a magician and Super Hero Day. We had educational programs presented by Kansas Wetlands Education Center, Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks & Tourism, Sedgwick County Zoo and Heath Sharp. Average attendance was 36 children per program.

The library also partnered with Pratt Recreation to present family movies on Friday afternoons. Lea Ann Holland, Children’s Librarian, also took her Story Times on the road this summer for the first time. Two Story Times were held at Deseret Health & Rehab and enjoyed by both children and residents.

Summer programming for tweens (5th-8th grades) included several craft projects, a Gaming Day where they tried out our new Playstation 4 purchased through another Institute of Museum and Library Services grant, an Invention Convention where they got to build with the littleBits Kits purchased through a grant from the South Central Community Foundation, as well as educational presentations from the Cosmosphere and Heath Sharp.

Adult programming included a USO Show presented by His Hands Puppets and a how-to presentation by the Extension Master Gardeners on building and using rain barrels. We also hosted our first Kansas Humanities Council Speaker in July. Tom Prasch, chair of the History Dept. at Washburn University, presented “Arab Spring and After” explaining the historical events that lead to the Arab Spring and its aftermath. Second Tuesday

Craft Classes continued through the summer with two Make It and Take It classes. Marlena King explained how essential oils can be used in the home and attendees made a room spray and a brown sugar scrub and Christine Mattal taught a class on making T-shirt bags. Another summer event was a book discussion on The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd led by Faye Graff.

Rochelle Westerhaus is the director of the Pratt Public Library