Community Fun Day kicks off Summer Reading Program at Belhaven Library

Published 7:36 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2019

For the second year running, the Belhaven Library kicked off its summer reading program with a bang on Wednesday. Hosting a well-attended community fun day, the library brought out Belhaven residents of all ages for an afternoon of fun, entertainment and education.

For the kids, the event included fun and games, including kiddie pools filled with bubbles, a bounce castle, face painting and games hosted by library volunteers. Youngsters also had the opportunity to sit in a N.C. State Highway Patrol car and interact with officers from the Belhaven Police Department.

For the adults, the community fun day brought a wide variety of agencies and nonprofits that provide services in eastern Beaufort County — from the Beaufort County Health Department and the Cooperative Extension Service to Legal Aid of North Carolina and Medicaid navigators.

“These people that were out here today are basically part of the community needs,” said Pat Saunders, director of the Belhaven Library. “All of them have services the community can use every day. Our first priority is to promote reading and education, but our goal is to also be the umbrella for information as well.”

Saunders said the library partners with various community agencies throughout the year to ensure that patrons know about the services available to them. For the staff, it’s all part of keeping a community well informed.

As to how that effort links to the Summer Reading Program at the library, this year’s program is sure to spark the imaginations of all ages. With programs for toddlers, children, teens and adults, the overall theme is “A Universe of Stories” and will focus on outer space.

Readers are tasked with reading a certain number of hours throughout the summer and will then be entered in a drawing for prizes at the end of the summer. In addition, events will be held at the library for all ages on a weekly basis. For kids who are out of school, Saunders says the summer reading program is a big help to keep them on track in their academics.

“This is one of the best things that they can do,” Saunders said.

Saunders said there will be two reading specialists available at the library all summer. Retired teacher Jenee Brewer and Belhaven resident Jean Corbett will spend time working with youngsters who might need some help catching up to their grade level on reading.

“We are here to serve the community,” Saunders said. “We know and understand the needs here and are trying to get the programs in here to focus on those needs. We appreciate the level of support we get on these programs. If we improve one kid’s reading skills each year, it’s well worth the effort.”

For more information about the summer reading program and other programming in town, visit the library at 333 E. Main St., Belhaven, or call 252-943-2993.

PLAYING TOGETHER: Kyren Palmer and Gabriel Lawler dig in the dirt together in a display made up to look like the surface of the moon. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)

LOCAL WRITER: Local author Starasia Bradley, right, was on hand promoting her new children’s book, “Auntie Mama Saves the Day.” The book is based on a true stories, and the real Auntie Mama, Thema Credle, is pictured at left. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)

LUNCH TIME: Kids and adults alike enjoyed Bill’s Hotdogs during the event. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)

BINGO: Library volunteer Barbar Pugh leads a game of bingo for kids attending the library’s Community Fun Day. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)