Miami’s children are invited to "walk down the red carpet" this summer with the reading program at the Miami Public Library.
This year’s summer reading program’s theme is "Be Creative @ Your Library" and children will be introduced to various aspects of the arts including music, drama, drawing, singing, dancing and instruments.
This is Connie Bradley’s 10th year as children’s librarian and she’s changing the program.
"Instead of having the children read as many books as they can during the program we’re going to emphasis the quality of time spent reading," she said. "Awards will not be given for reading the most books."
Children will receive a certificate for completing their contracts and on the final day will walk down the red carpet like at the Academy Awards.
At the final program, on July 14, a drawing will be held for several storybook characters. Children must be present to win.
The children will get an introductory packet when they sign-up. The children will need to sign a contract for the amount of reading they plan to do each day during the summer.
The packet includes reading logs, stickers and bookmarks provided for free by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The institute is the primary support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Its mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.
The sign-up has begun at the library.
It is open to children as young as 3 years old.
"It is important to read to children at a very young age," Bradley said. "It’s quality time to share with children and introduce them to the enjoyment of reading. There’s none of the ‘gotta get this done tonight’ like when one is aiming for a certain number of books."
This year, tickets are required to the special feature programs, which will give the children hands-on experience with the arts with special guests.
"The tickets are free, but need to be gotten in advance," Bradley said. "This way we can anticipate the number of children coming and be prepared."
Dance instructor Christi Leonard will give two programs, one on June 8 and the other on June 12. Jennifer Lance with "Critter Tales" will give a program with five live animals on June 15. Danny Dillon, actor, director and teacher, will introduce children to "play" acting June 16. Musician Bobbi Lake will introduce music on June 22. Harpist Tammy Willcox will introduce the children to her instrument on June 25. Children will be introduced to what to do with their trash by Kay Frank on July 6.
Check the library’s calendar for the times and ages of the children for each program.
The family day special performers are almost all favorites at the Miami Public Library.
Activities start on opening day, June 1, with Stephen Smith, also known as "Professor B. Looney." Smith is a balloon artist.
Puppeteer Joann McMillian will give two programs on June 10.
Susan Sykes, a storyteller known as "The Pocket Lady" will perform on June 24.
Kevin Wade, magician and principal of Alexander Elementary School in Commerce, will give the final performance on July 14.
New comer to this year’s special performers is magician Steve Crawford who will perform on June 17.
To get specific dates for any of the summer reading activities at the library, grab a June and July calendar in the children’s department.
In addition to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Bradley expressed gratitude to sponsors including the City of Miami, Friends of the Miami Public Library, the Miami Letters and Arts Club, Video Giant, McDonald’s and Wal-Mart Super Center.