Summer reading program kicks off June 5 in Itawamba County

Young readers, ready your eyes; it’s time for the Itawamba County Pratt Memorial Library’s annual summer reading program.
This year’s six-week program will kick off on Friday, June 5, at 10 a.m. The “Be Creative at the Library” theme opened the gates for imaginative freedom when scheduling events, said head librarian Cindy Jamerson. Over the course of the six-week program, participants will do a little bit of everything creative — from music to drawing to soap carving.
“There’s just so much you can do with ‘Be Creative at the Library.’ That can be anything,” she said excitedly.
Open to children in grades preschool through fifth, the annual program encourages reading and other creative endeavors, nursing young minds and imaginations. Each child who joins the program will receive a bookmark and reading log to track the number of books he or she reads during the summer.
The event will run from the kickoff date until July 10, with guest speakers appearing at the library each Friday at 10 a.m.
At the end of the event, two lucky children will win bookbags and T-shirts. All participants will be able to enjoy a free lunch, though.
Those wanting to participate in the event should attend the kickoff event. Kenny Holcomb of Chubby Creek Collectables will be on hand with his collection of unique wood crafts and soap carvings for children to view while signing up.
The program will continue the following Friday, June 12, with a visit from Jane Flurry from iCats. Along with her will be some of her young dancers and gymnasts, who will be displaying some of the ways in which movement can be creative.
On July 19, Alison Schuchs of the Itawamba Arts Association and Carrie’s Coffee House will be performing for attendees on her guitar, while an artist interprets her music through drawing.
On June 26, Keith Carpenter, owner of Bean’s Ferry Pottery, will demonstrate the art of chalk drawing to children.
The library will be closed on July 3 for the holiday weekend, but the program will conclude the next Friday, July 10, with a large graduation ceremony for participants.
Although the program is traditionally aimed at the younger demographic, Jamerson asserted that most adults will be able to enjoy this year’s theme and guest speakers as well.
“Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend. This is stuff for all ages,” Jamerson said.
Jamerson stressed the importance of events like the summer reading program, which encourages children to not only read, but utilize their local library for a variety of purposes.
“Programs like the Summer Reading Program keep everyone actively involved in their communities,” she said.
Last year, more than 120 children signed up for the program, one of the library’s most successful summer reading events. This year, Jamerson expects attendance to be even higher due to the weak economy, which has proven to boost the library’s usage. “The numbers will be stronger this year because there are a lot of people out of work, who would normally be working during the time of the program. We have already seen a large increase in our daily attendance as well as the number of people who attend our preschool story time.”

Adam Armour can be reached at
862-3141, by e-mailing or by visiting his blog at


Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times