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Outdoor party closes out Meredith summer reading program

Summer Hamill makes a big bubble during the Meredith Public Library's End of Summer Party. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
August 19, 2014
MEREDITH ⎯ The Meredith Public Library closed out a summer of reading and fun learning with a big party as this year's summer reading program ended for another year.

This year's summer reading program "Fizz, Boom, Read" was a national program focusing on science. On Friday, families gathered on the library lawn for the program's closing celebration with music, games, ice cream, and plenty of bubbles.

Youth Services Librarian John Locke said this year's summer program has 130 kids taking part along with 66 tweens and teens; numbers that Locke said were bigger than last year. The students logged hundreds of hours of reading and 23 teen book reviews.

Locke said the program was moved back a week earlier to bring in more participants. Locke said the library found many of the seasonal residents go back earlier, many students spend the weeks before school getting ready for sports training and other activities, and many families want some time to rest before school starts. Last year's end of the season celebration had a scant few participants, though a good number attended this year.

The program featured a number of science-related activities and experiments.

Locke said one of the biggest programs was the Homemade Science where they created non-Newtonian fluid (a thick, oozy fluid) and homemade bubble solution. Another poplar program was making sidewalk chalk, then writing on the sidewalks and steps leading up to the library.

Locke also did the classic experiment creating a geyser with Mentos and Diet Coke.

One of the most popular programs illustrated lessons form Archimedes with Legos. Innisfree Books donated glow-in-the-dark Lego sets that were given out to the kids.

"We'd be lost without the community connections," Locke said. "They really kept us going."

Locke said the kids really had fun with the science theme.

"They all had a great time," Locke said. "We tried to be as hands on as we could with the science."

Sometimes some of the experiments did work out at first, especially the non-Newtonian fluid. After some discussion between Locke and the kids, he eventually made it work, showing a few science concepts in the process.

The program brought in kids of all ages into the library.

Kids in the Bates family have been coming to the library all summer, especially seven-year-old John.

"It was very nice; they were very friendly," said Maria Bates, saying she could come with all the kids. "It was very interesting to them."

John said his favorite part of the program was building with Legos.

The program was also a lot of fun for three-year-old Sydney Lannon. Her mom Susan Woo said the best part of the program was Sydney "Being around the other kids and being here interacting with the other kids."

"Just to be able to see the older kids and learning and playing with new things," Woo said.

This summer involved a lot of reading and fun for four-year-old Summer Hamill. Her mother Wendy Hamill said the family makes the most of Summer's experience at the library.

"It's always fun to see kids learn a lot and have new experiences," Hamill said

The summer reading program may be over though fall will have some new activities for kids and teens at the library.

The library will hold a series of college prep programs focusing on a variety of topics such as financial aid, college searches, and an expert from UNH on the GI Bill.

Comics Club will also start back up after the summer break.

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