As the new Children's Services Supervisor at the Altoona Area Public Library, I often feel very fortunate in my position.
In addition to the number of heartfelt hugs, homemade colored pictures, bunches of handpicked dandelions and the surprise of excited waves at the grocery store, I receive a wonderful variety of questions and comments from the 150 preschool children that come into the library each week for story time programming.
I hear anything from "Why are you wearing that skirt again?" to "I probably love you today."
But one of my favorites came from a sweet 3-year-old girl who spoke up during a story in Toddler Time class.
"Miss Adrienne, do you sleep at the library?" I smiled and explained to her that I go home to my husband and dogs every evening, not thinking anything else of it.
But with this year's Summer Reading theme, "Dream Big Read!" my answer to that question almost changed, as we actually considered a library sleepover for our summer reading children! We decided to do a stuffed animal library sleepover instead.
Summer reading has always been the most exciting time of year in the youth room. Excitement is seen on the faces of children, caregivers, staff and student helpers as we celebrate two fabulous passions: summertime and reading!
Our carnival-style kick-off party is scheduled for June 19, and then comes six fun-filled weeks of free programming, book reading for prizes, outdoor games, movie matinees, cool crafts and more.
There's fun in store for all ages with our interactive programs, including Mother Goose on the Loose, Toddler Time, Story Hour and Elementary-aged summer reading club.
Thanks to our wonderful partnership with the Altoona Mirror, children enrolled in the program also will have the opportunity to exercise their creativity and imagination by working on a project for the newspaper.
The best part of the program is that your children will not only enjoy the experience, they will also have the opportunity to interact with others while cultivating a love of reading and learning, which will provide numerous benefits throughout their lifetimes. (And keep them away from the TV!)
I'd love to have your child join us this year. Who knows - maybe your child's silly-yet- so-sweet question or comment will make its way onto my Top10 list.
So in between family vacations, camping weekends, lazy days at the pool and miniature golf games, make sure your family finds time to "dream big and READ" here at the Altoona Area Public Library.
Please call the Library Youth Room at 946-0417, ext. 123 for any questions about the summer reading program.
Adrienne Brown is the Children Services Supervisor at the Altoona Area Public Library. A human development and family studies graduate of Penn State Altoona, she has worked with children and families, created an incarcerated parenting program, served at an orphanage abroad and created after-school programs in Blair County. She lives in Hollidaysburg with her husband, Christopher, and their two dogs.