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Students can earn extra in Summer Reading Club Cranberry Public Library

| Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Dona S. Dreeland | Cranberry Journal
Christie Malesky of Mars and son Jonathan, 3, listen to the stories told by librarians Annemarie Lampersky and Rachael Troianos during a picture book picnic at the Cranberry Public Library. Behind them, brother Stephen, 9 months, relaxes in his stroller.
Dona S. Dreeland | Cranberry Journal
Hong Wang and her children, Daniel, 18 months, and Nina, almost 7, from Cranberry, come a bit early for the Picture Book Picnic, part of the summer reading program at the Cranberry Public Library. Librarians Annemarie Lamperski and Rachael Troianos will provide a 30-minute program of stories, songs and rhymes to youngsters and their parents each Tuesday through July 23.
Dona S. Dreeland | Cranberry Journal
The Spositos and the Prags settle in for a Picture Book Picnic at the Cranberry Public Library. They are (from left) Rachel Sposito and daughter Gianna, 21 months, from Evans City, and Tricia Prag and son Connor, 2, from Cranberry Each Tuesday through July 23, the librarians will provide half an hour of stories, songs and rhymes that show the fun of reading.
Dona S. Dreeland | Cranberry Journal
Kavita Patel and daughter Riya, 3, of Cranberry, snuggle as the Picture Book Picnic begins at Cranberry Public Library. Each Tuesday through July 23 parents are invited to bring their children to the outdoor story time to sing songs and hear stories.
Dona S. Dreeland | Cranberry Journal
Eliza Lozosky, 2, of Adams Township tries to suppress her excitement, as her mother, Emily, cautions her that the Picture Book Picnic is about to start. Each Tuesday through July 23, from 11:30 a.m. to noon, children are invited to participate in a program of stories and songs presented by Annemarie Lamperski and Rachael Troianos, librarians at Cranberry Public Library.
Dona S. Dreeland | Cranberry Journal
Rachael Troianos, teen services librarian (left) and Annemarie Lamperski, youth services librarian, use their teaching and acting skills as they present story after story during a Picture Book Picnic, part of the summer reading program at the Cranberry Public Library.

A trip to Cranberry Public Library this month may earn students something extra.

Those who have joined the Summer Reading Club may earn extra tokens for each visit; the tokens can be exchanged at the library store or at Walgreens on Route 19 in Cranberry Township.

“At the library, they can buy tchotchkes or literary items,” said Annemarie Lamperski, youth services librarian.

“At Walgreens, they can purchase squirt guns, water toys, sidewalk chalk and candy.”

“Dig into Reading” is the theme for the Summer Reading Club for children.

Rachael Troianos, 25, of Pine Township, has been in charge of teen services for almost two years.

She and members of her teen advisory board have been busy creating new events.

“We've revamped the program,” said Lamperski, 44, of Cranberry, who joined the staff in February. She had been with Northland Public Library in McCandless for five years.

The changes seem to be working. More than 800 participants — from babies to teens — are signed up for summer.

New members can join throughout July.

Last year, about 350 people attended children's programs and 99 were in teen activities. This year, they're at 675 and 128, respectively.

The largest group is children, kindergarten through fifth grade.

One popular morning program is the Picture Book Picnic, held Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to noon.

Caregivers can bring blankets and snacks for youngsters who will listen to stories, sing songs and gesture along with rhymes.

“Familiar songs help with the kids,” Lamperski said. “Repetition is good. Pre-literacy skills are the basis for story time.”

Being part of the token exchange seemed an easy partnership for Carl Kerekes, Walgreens' manager. “We try to reach out to the community,” he said. “We help out where we can.”

To date, 20 to 30 children have come in to redeem their tokens, said Kerekes, 29, of Butler County.

Items on the store's exchange shelf are valued from 30 cents to $10. Walgreens also donated more than 800 tote bags to students for carrying library books.

Lamperski said it's difficult to estimate how many tokens have been distributed since the program started on June 10.

“It's been a ton,” she said.

Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or ddreeland@tribweb.com.

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