BELTON — Puppets, magic and outer space.
That was the focus of Monday’s kickoff event for the Belton summer reading program. This summer’s theme is “A Universe of Stories.”
The kickoff event was held at the Harris Community Center instead of the Lena Armstrong Public Library, and featured a performance by entertainer David Pitts. “Puppets and Science in Space” was the name of the performance by Pitts, and focused mainly on telling jokes through his ventriloquism and showing off his magic tricks.
Activities for the summer reading program at the library started this week and continue until the third week in July. Each week will have multiple events for kids of all ages.
The program is useful for keeping kids engaged and active over the summer, some parents said. Not only are the weekly activities able to serve as some ways to break up the week, but kids are also encouraged to read more and check out books from the library on different issues.
“I want them to enjoy reading and these type of events,” Melissa Baugh, a mother with two children at the event, said. “(The summer reading program) always has something different that is of interest to my kids.”
One of the unique activities that the Belton program has over others is the inclusion of a bilingual story time. Grandmother Mirella Bracamonde says that these bilingual events help her granddaughter become better at English compared to her.
“(My granddaughter) is 3 years old now and we started coming (to these events) when she was only 6 months old,” Bracamonde said. “We come the whole year for all the activities at the library. For me, this is very important because I speak Spanish and my accent is very strong so I want her to interact with another English speaker so she doesn’t have an accent like me.”
Lena Armstrong Public Library, 301 E. First Ave., will have five more events at the Harris Community Center over the next five weeks in addition to other summer activities. Those who are interested in participating in the program and attending the events can register by visiting the children’s room at the library.