Peru — From 2:30 until 3:15 p.m. every Monday through July this summer, the Peru Public Library offered a summer reading and crafts program for children.
That’s nothing new. The Peru library has offered the program for several years and, in fact, attendance was up this summer.
Carla Murtha has been a Peru librarian for 35 years. She said 649 children participated in the library’s summer reading program.
“It’s more children than we typically have. We are really proud of that number,” she said.
Other than attendance being up, however, the other difference with this summer’s reading program was who presented the program and the purpose behind it.
For her senior project, Maconaquah’s Jylian Vigar organized and hosted the reading event. She selected age-appropriate books to read to children, who sometimes ranged in age from 4 to 15. She also gave them snacks and played games associated with the books she read.
Christi Callane and her 4-year-old were regularly among those in Vigar’s audience.
“This has really been great,” said Callane, adding she and her son only missed one Monday this summer. “We are big on reading in our house. We think it is truly important to teach children reading is fun. She was able to connect the books with games and snacks and she did a very good job working with the kids.
“With a 1-year-old at home, I don’t get the library as much as I like, but this gave me an excuse to get to the library.”
Vigar completed the project as part of her senior advanced placement English class. Vigar, who will graduate in May 2012, said her goal was to get children engaged in reading while teaching by example that reading is fun.
She also wanted to ensure that other children have books to read so they can learn to love reading as much as she does.