Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Reading Kickoff

Since our theme for Summer Reading this year is "Dream Big", we decided to have a pajama party for our kickoff registration. We sent home flyers to all the schools inviting kids to wear their PJs and come from 6-7PM for "stories, games, crafts, and a bedtime snack."

As soon as I mentioned it to the staff, several people asked if they could wear their pajamas that day, too. Of course! Everyone looked very cute:

And was very comfortable! Do you suppose we could get away with this once a week?

I kept having that oh-no feeling you get in a bad dream, when you suddenly realize you forgot to put clothes on.

Last year I think we had about 30 kids come to our early registration at a local venue, on a Saturday morning. I planned for a few more than that. When, at 5:40PM, I had a room full of kids in PJs waiting to start, I realized I had better quickly plan for a LOT more.

They were all so stinkin' cute! We had healthy(ish) snacks and cold milk,

bedtime stories read by Miss Jane (the only person I will let take over reading duties),

and crafts like creating a monster to go under your bed. There were also games: Pin the PJs on Spongebob (run by Miss Clara) and the Laundry Toss (run by M.) Thank-you, ladies!!!

I ran the registration table, while C. hid out behind me. He still gets shy sometimes - like when he sees his favorite young lady IN HER NIGHTIE! He did manage to traverse the distance to the snack table a few times.

In all, 77 kids registered that evening - and then promptly checked out stacks of books. The next morning, half the staff put in leave requests for all of June and July (they were all denied). By the end of summer we usually have between 1300-1500 kids participating, so opening registration is just a start. Kids can register right up to the end of July, and everything is always FREE. Our age range is birth through 18 years - which brings me to what will probably be my favorite story of the summer.

We start at birth, so I usually say no to pregnant Mommies who want to register their baby to be. When a Mommy came in Thursday night, however, having contractions two minutes apart, I decided that was close enough. Baby M. was born the next morning, and I expect him to have War and Peace finished by the time he makes his first library visit!

Now, if that Mommy can make it in to get her kids signed up, I will accept no excuses from anyone else! If you are in the area, stop by the children's desk any time - it just takes a few minutes, no ID or such required. Programs start June 4, but there is nothing you are required to attend - just do as much or as little as fits your summer. And have fun!

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