By DENISE HERSCHEL
There may be a few weeks left until the start of the new school year but the Bradley Beach Library still has several summer activities in store for the month of August. After a successful season of reading, it is even more of a reason for the children to celebrate, according to Rita Post, Bradley Beach Library Program Coordinator.
“I think that summer reading was a big success! The library was literally overflowing with party-goers at our Pirate Party with 93 people in attendance. Our little pirates were reading and having fun doing so. Experts agree that kids who read during the summer gain reading skills and reading is the doorway to all other learning. If they see the library as a fun place and look forward to coming here, I can’t ask for anything more!” she said.
A Harry Potter party was held last week to celebrate the soon-to-be released book. Muggles and wizards were on hand to make wands and owl puppets and even had time to play a game of Quidditch. The library also had their “End-of-the-Summer” reading party with a visit from some of the slimy and scaley friends courtesy of Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant.
One of the upcoming and most interesting summer prorams will be on Sat., Aug. 20. Rick Mikula, known as “The Butterfly Guy,” will make an appearance at the library. According to Post, Mikula has been breeding and sharing his love of butterflies with audiences for the past 35 years. He has written books, been featured in many magazines, and appeared on many television shows.
“This seemed like a perfect presentation to accompany not only the dedication of our butterfly garden but our Celebrate Life collage,” Post said. “Individual butterflies may be purchased and dedicated in honor of loved ones.”
The butterfly garden was made possible by a donation from the Mentzer family along with Jayne Mackta and the Friends of the Library. The Celebrate Life collage, which hangs in the children’s area, is a rainbow butterfly collage done on old book pages. It was commissioned by New Jersey artist Cat Bolton.
Post added that there was “a nice turnout for summer reading” with 55 children participating; the same number as last year.
“I would love for this number to continue to grow but I am pleased with the turnout. Ages ranged from two to fourteeen-years-old. The seven to ten-year-old group had the most participants, closely followed by the four to six-year-olds. Everyone who took part was a rock star reader and to date they have read a total of 223 books with still more time to go!” she continued.
The official “Say Goodbye to Summer” program will take place on Tuesday, August 30 at 6:30 p.m. All can celebrate the last of the lazy days of summer outside the library with old-fashioned games. Then all are invited inside the library to cool off with some ice cream.
Gazebo storytime will continue throughout the month of August, every Friday at 11am at the Fifth Avenue gazebo.
Adults also have some scheduled activities as well. Adult color will return on Tues., Aug. 23 at 6:30 p.m To learn more about the remaining summer activities contact Rita Post at the Bradley Beach Library at 732-776-2995.