United Way supports children’s reading

LEWISTOWN – Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a familiar tale to us all, but have you ever heard of Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs? This classic retelling effectively embodies the sense of creativity that is regularly explored at Juniata County Library’s Story Time. This United Way funded program takes an integrated approach to learning, connecting kids to an imaginative world that is only accessible through reading. Each session includes the presentation of a few storybooks, followed by hands-on activities to reinforce what they learned.

Library patron Michelle Van Horn brings her son Matthew, age 2, to Story Time for several reasons. She values the socialization and community connection that the library offers for both children and parents; it is a place that freely welcomes all people. Even more significantly, she knows her son’s growth is shaped by the power of reading-“He gets something out of it and it’s important at any age.”

The Library’s Youth Services department also runs the annual Summer Reading Program. In 2013, 193 youths ranging from pre-readers to teenagers participated in the program. Participants logged nearly 12,000 books in their final total-an impressive accomplishment that deserves recognition. Library Director Brady Clemens looks forward to building on that success for the 2014 Summer Reading Program. Reaching this upcoming generation of readers is a challenge that the library is prepared to take on with a future focus. Clemens is actively updating their inventory, a worthy investment for the years to come.

For Clemens, the work is certainly rewarding: “I believe in what we do; providing information, encouraging literacy in kids and adults.” The United Way supports the Juniata County Library as a part of the education initiative. A lifelong love for reading-and learning-could begin with Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs.