MUSCATINE, Iowa–With summer break on the horizon for students in Muscatine, many kids look forward both to spending time outside and to getting lost in a good book. From May 31 through July 29, young readers can delight in the joys of reading and nature through the Musser Public Library’s “Read Beyond the Beaten Path” summer reading program.
To encourage children to enjoy regular reading and keep their skills sharp over the summer, Musser Library will hold its annual summer reading program. Throughout June and July, participants can log the number of minutes they spend reading and the number of books they complete and receive prizes when they reach certain milestones. Beginning May 21, children can sign up for summer reading online or at the library, located at 408 East Second Street in Muscatine. Both kids and teens who come into the library can get age-appropriate summer reading field guides with information about the program as well as spaces to write and draw about their summer adventures.
Complementing the reading, the Musser Public Library will also hold several free drop-in events for kids and teens of all ages to participate in. June 4, the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium will visit, bringing their touch tank with them so kids can safely pet various aquatic creatures. June 15, the Bayer Outreach Team will do several science, technology, engineering, and math (or STEM) demonstrations to spark kids’ curiosity. June 23, the Iowa Children’s Museum will lead several map making activities, including making a map by coding Bee Bots. Incredible Bats will visit June 28 to let participants see a variety of woodland creatures.
To celebrate Independence Day, the library will hold its annual children’s parade July 4 at 9 a.m. Any kid who would like may march in this parade and enjoy a free popsicle and book upon returning to the library. July 12, kids can pretend they have headed out west, as Cowboy Randy performs some fun music and teaches a little bit of basic rope twirling. Dave Bakke from Muscatine County Conservation will visit July 20 to show off prairie animal artifacts. An electric vehicle parade and Energy Fest will rap up summer July 30.
The library also hopes to hold a big truck “petting zoo” with large equipment from the City of Muscatine as well as a collage craft led by Muscatine County Arts Council member Duffy DeFrance. Teens can also have some fun just for them at a weekly maker space held each Friday at 1 p.m.
Even the youngest children can have fun with summer reading this year. The library will once again hold story times at the City of Muscatine’s infant and toddler swims at the Aquatic Center as well as at the Tot Lot program.
Though not every kid will go on an elaborate vacation this summer, Youth Services Librarian Betty Collins hopes the library’s wide range of fun and educational programs will give children some picture perfect moments to cherish and to paste into their summer reading field guides. She also looks to bring a love for reading and the outdoors together in a winning combination. “I love this theme because I love bringing the natural world into every part of our lives, even indoors, and I love bringing the library out into the world.”
The library would like to thank CBI Bank & Trust and the Friends of the Musser Public Library for their ongoing support of summer reading.