Library summer reading program underway

MANISTEE — One can explore other countries, time and even space just by picking up a book. This summer, area children and adults can also do just that by participating in “A Universe of Stories” Summer Reading Program at Manistee County Libraries.

Throughout the summer, all five of the branches — Arcadia, Bear Lake, Kaleva, Onekama and Wellston — as well as the main branch in Manistee will host a plethora of activities for children and adults alike.

Bingo cards will be handed out upon registering for the summer reading program, for adults or children.

“When they get a bingo on the card, they bring it back in they get a ticket into our drawings. They also get a free book and they get an additional bingo card to complete,” said Laurel Sproul, youth services coordinator at Manistee County Library. “There’s six of them this summer, so it just kind of continues. They can go as long as they want. They could take that first card and spend the whole summer doing it or they can bring it back to me in a week.”

The bingo cards have all different types of activities on them.

“I don’t want it just reading (on the bingo cards), I want different experiences to make it fun,” said Sproul. “Take a walk, sing a song, say the ABCs backward — just kind of different things. But I did focus on read, read, read.”

She said the program is designed to keep children reading throughout the summer.

“If they don’t read during the summer, kids tend to lag and this keeps them going so that when they start school in the fall they’re at grade level,” she said.

However, not all activities will focus on reading. Kalamazoo Nature Center will present a program at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Bear Lake branch and at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the main branch in Manistee.

The Midland Dow Museum will present a program at 10 a.m. on July 1 at the Arcadia branch and at 1 p.m. on July 1 at the Kaleva branch.

On Saturday, all the branches kicked off the summer reading program with their own activities and sign up. Rebecca Lessard, founder of Wings of Wonder, presented a program at the Kaleva and Manistee libraries.

“We have a very multi-faceted mission. Our most important mission is education,” she told those in attendance in Manistee on Saturday. “We travel throughout Michigan doing bird of prey programs to libraries, schools, zoos, special events, wedding anniversaries. I did a funeral memorial a couple years ago, birthday parties … a lot of different venues, introducing folks such as yourselves to the wonders of raptors.

“We also do rehabilitation work, which means we admit to our clinic sick, injured and orphaned raptors with the goal of getting them healthy and back home to the wild.”

Lessard said Wings of Wonder invites the public to nearly all of their releases once a bird is rehabilitated; people can find out about them by submitting their email to Wings of Wonder at

Lessard brought with her two raptors — an American kestral (falcon) and a great horned owl. Children and adults were enthralled by the birds.

More information on summer reading events, which also include events like Galaxy Stone, Star Bingo and Night Drums, can be found on the library’s Facebook page, Manistee County Library. Brochures with the full schedules can be found at all branches. Children and adults can still sign up for the summer reading program by visiting any branch.

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Posted by Michelle Graves

Michelle is the managing editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3106 or mgraves@pioneergroup.com.

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