By Traci Chapman
Editor’s Note: This is the last of three installments detailing the return of Mustang Public Library’s full scale summer reading program, after an abbreviated 2020 event necessitated by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Mustang’s 2021 Summer Reading Program’s June 6 kickoff celebration was just that – as the municipal library even before that day saw a major record of participants.
Mustang Public Library assistant director Nichole Valencia said Sunday about 500 people – children, youth and adults alike – had as of that day signed up for Tails and Tales, this year’s themed summer reading session.
“That’s a major record – and we’re just thrilled, especially considering how much COVID-19 has impacted everyone,” Valencia said.
Close to 100 people attended the kickoff party, held Sunday at Mustang Town Center. A chance to participate in games and crafts, the event was just the start of a host of events set over the coming two months.
While the youngest of the library’s patrons are a major focus during summer reading, activities and chances to further instill a love of reading in older students is essential for their ongoing development, studies have shown – and Mustang library staff also want to help adults strengthen or rediscover the value of reading, as well, Valencia said.
“There truly is something for everyone this summer – and lots of it,” she said.
Mustang library teen programs are designed for students entering grades 6 through 12 and set for 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Sessions last from about 45 to 60 minutes, Valencia said, and include the following upcoming offerings:
- June 15 – Animal Balloon Art features magician John Pansze teaching the ins and outs of magical balloon creations;
- June 18, July 30 – Teen After Hours offers two special activities, Game Night and Escape Room, respectively June 18 and July 30.
- June 22 – Cosplay Ears and Tails is a chance to learn about cosplay costumes from Melissa Kerfoot;
- June 29 – Creepy Crawly Poetry is a chance to incorporate real bugs as inspiration for writing with author Darleen Bailey Beard;
- July 6 – Owl Pellet Dissection illustrates the eating habits of owls and provides an interactive scientific experience;
- July 13 – Beginners D & D is a workshop designed to help participants create fantasy characters and play monster combat encounters;
- July 20 – Frozen Fruit-tastic is made possible through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Oklahoma Department of Libraries and a chance to learn how to make healthy and delicious cold treats;
- July 27 – Pop & Palette features artist Anne Morales guiding creation of angler fish paintings.
Family “all age” events are held at 6 p.m. Thursdays and include:
- June 10 – Animal Service Day, a chance to earn rewards for creating toys for animals at the city’s new animal welfare center;
- June 24 – Sugar Free All Stars, a Mustang Public Library favorite, will headline a concert that features dancing and fun for all ages;
- July 15 – Pet Parade offers a chance for participants to present their pets for a chance for prizes and awards;
- July 29 – Extreme Animals is a chance to get up close and personal with wild animal ambassadors.
The 2021 Summer Reading Program will wrap up July 31, with a party set as of press time at Wild Horse Park pavilion from noon to 2 p.m.
All programs are free of charge but registration is required for most, by going online to https://rnustangpubliclibrary.eventbrite.com.More information about library programs and activities – including those for younger readers outlined in previous series stories – can be found on its website, located at https://www.cityofmustang.org/library, or on its Facebook page.