School is out and the wait is over! An absolutely out-of-this-world summer packed full of space-age fun kicks off at Forsyth County Public Library on May 29.
Free fun for families with children of all ages begins at the Cumming Library’s Summer Reading Kick-Off Carnival on Wednesday, May 29 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and continues at the Hampton Park Library’s Summer Reading Kick-Off Carnival on Thursday, May 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Both events include acrobatic performances from Cameron’s One Man Circus and balloon twisting from Once Upon a Fiesta, as well as family-friendly carnival games, activities, and prizes.
Staff from the Post Road and Sharon Forks branches will team up to host a Summer Reading Kick-Off Carnival on Friday, May 31 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Forsyth Conference Center.
The event will include a family concert from Mr. Michael, co-founder of The Learning Groove and the music producer of the bestselling Pete the Cat picture books, along with high-flying, slam-dunking stunts and fantastic gymnastics from Gutsy, the Flying Fox.
Admission to all Summer Reading Kick-Off Carnival events is free and all ages are welcome to attend. Guests who want to see the acrobatic performances and concerts should plan to arrive early, as space is limited.
The kick-off events are only the start of what promises to be a summer full of fun.
“The theme of this year’s summer reading program is ‘A Universe of Stories’ and our staff had such fun planning programs and activities based on planetary science, stars and constellations, and other areas of astronomy and physics,” explains Programming Manager Tracy Walker.
Kids and teens who are interested in engineering or coding will enjoy events such as the Cumming Library’s Aerospace Workshop, Machine Learning Crash Course for Python coding, or LEGO® Robotics program.
Young children can enjoy a full schedule of storytimes, animal and reptile encounters, planetarium shows, and theatrical performances.
Teens and tweens will find weekly activities at the library that include opportunities to paint, make clay sculptures, participate in mystery role playing games and breakout boxes, talk with author Geanna Culbertson about her Crisanta Knight book series, as well as learn how to cook from a local chef.
Adults can also find a fun-filled summer at the library with painting classes, crafting workshops, gardening programs, escape room games, author talks, stargazing events, and even a free concert with rising folk and country star Angela Easterling.
“While our patrons are enjoying these special summer events at the library, I hope they’ll take a moment to browse the stacks or stop by the Friends Bookstores to pick up a book or two to read on vacation, by the pool, or under their favorite shade tree at home,” says Walker.
Library patrons of all ages who register and track their reading this summer can win a variety of prizes.
“Our Beanstack tracking app makes keeping up with what you read – or what your children read – so much simpler. Patrons can enter books quickly, track reading minutes with ease, and even make note of other activities they complete to earn points in our Summer Reading Fun program,” adds Walker.
Patrons from infants to age 18 accumulate points for reading books or engaging in other activities related to this year’s “A Universe of Stories” theme. Upon earning 100, 250, and 500 points, these young patrons can visit any FCPL branch to claim such prizes as a free book, a Frosty from Wendy’s, a Kidz Meal from Zaxby’s, or passes to Stars & Strikes.
Earning 500 points also enters these patrons in a random drawing for grand prizes such as a telescope, a Kindle eReader, movie tickets, and tickets to a Gwinnett Stripers baseball game.
Adult patrons may track their reading to earn points, too. Adult patrons who earn 500 points will be entered in grand prize drawings for eReaders, a YMCA Gift Card, gift cards for popular local restaurants and stores, and a gift bag from The Home Depot.
“We’re so grateful to the FCPL Friends & Advocates and Forsyth County businesses for their support of Summer Reading Fun. It’s so encouraging to know that local business leaders want to take an active role in preventing the ‘summer slide’ by giving our students a greater incentive to keep reading, even when school isn’t in session,” says Walker.
Instructions for registering and earning points for the Summer Reading Fun program are available online. A full schedule of summer programs is available on the library’s event calendar at www.forsythpl.org.