Library is a portal for summer fun

By WILLIAM STEPHENS SR.

News Review Correspondent

The Ridgecrest Branch of the Kern County Library is offering a variety of activities this summer that will keep children and teens engaged all summer long.

One of the most notable activities is the Summer Reading Challenge, which will be offered not only to children of all ages, but to adults too.

“It looks like there are a lot of new things to do this year,” said Lindsey, mother of three children ages 3-7.

She said that her children have particularly enjoyed the STEM experiments that the library has been partnering with China Lake engineers and scientists to present.

“They also liked the folk concert and the magic show,” she said. “And of course they are also looking forward to all the craft activities being offered.”

The challenge consists of three age groups – infant to 10 years old, 11-18 and adult.

For the infant-to-10 age group, each reader is to read 10 books or listen to up to 10 hours worth of audiobooks (younger readers may have books read to them) to be considered a “finisher.” Each finisher may then pick a free book from the library.

For the 11-18 age group, each reader must finish 10 age-appropriate books. Each reader may also listen to audiobooks, up to 10 hours worth to be considered a finisher. Once finisher status is reached, the participant gets to pick a free book from the library and a bonus finisher (who reads an additional 10 hours) gets a “bonus finisher bag.”

“I think my kids really like the idea of being challenged to read books for prizes,” said Lindsey.

An adult participant needs to read just five books (kids’ books don’t count) to complete the challenge. Adult finishers are entered into a prize drawing that will include movie tickets, a spaghetti dinner for four at Ephen Tacos and a free combo from Classic Burger.

Adults who read an additional five books will be entered into a bonus drawing for prizes that include a ticket to Dry Town Water Park, a Bluetooth speaker, a variety of passes for the Infinite Movement Academy and more.

According to Acting Branch Supervisor Charissa Wagner, the biggest new activity at the library this summer is Lunch at the Library, hosted by Sierra Sandsu Unified School District and available from 11:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m. The activity features healthy nutricious meals and is free to children 18 and younger. Parents are also encouraged to attend and purchase their meals for $3.75 each.

A few more activities for teens as well as adults are White Hat Hackathon in July, a Brown Bag Lunch and Learn featuring vacation photo tips with Cheryl McDonald and Cutting the Cord with the IWV TV Boosters.

Other notable upcoming popular programs also include the Magic of Christopher Lopez, Omnipresent Puppet Theater, Infinite Movement Academy, Roaming Reptiles, and Wild Child Adventures. Also there will be visits from our local first responders and a special guest during the last Wednesday of the official Summer Reading Challenge.

Challice, mother of five children ages 2-11, said that while she loves the summer programs at the library, there is plenty for people of all ages all year round.

“The younger ones like the computer, because they don’t always get a chance to do that at home,” she said.

“They also love the little activities that the librarians put in the cubbies. The older ones like to go sit in the little corners — what we call the anti-social chairs — so that they can read.”

Some of the library’s programs are supported through donations by groups such as the Friends of the Ridgecrest Library, which holds sales and events throughout the year to raise money for new books and materials.

And of course Wagner said that the library can always use volunteers to help organize and support activities.

For more information please visit www.kerncountylibrary.org or call 760-384-5870

Story First Published: 2018-06-08