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Elizabeth Township church's summer programs keep kids reading

| Friday, June 14, 2013, 4:51 a.m.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Central Highlands Community United Methodist Church Outreach Committee members Louise Patterson, Sue Nemchick, Elaine Ross and Phyllis Chernicky make plans for the Summer Saturday 'Story & Activity Time.' Children ages 3-5 and 6-8 may join them every Saturday through Aug. 17 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at 100 Timothy Drive in Elizabeth Township. For more information call 412-384-5046 or 412-751-8068.
Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Norwin Public Library's summer reading program, 'Dig Into Reading,' runs through July 25. This week children got a close look at a squirrel named Twitch during a presentation by the Animal Rescue League of Verona.

An Elizabeth Township church is ensuring that the community's children will not go without their summer reading program even though they no longer have a local library.

Carnegie Library of McKeesport's branch in the township closed its doors in May.

Members of Central Highlands Community United Methodist Church at 100 Timothy Drive have made efforts to continue showing children the importance of reading.

“I feel very pleased and very blessed that we could do this,” said Elaine Ross, a member of the church's outreach committee. “We didn't have a program, but we had some retired teachers who taught lower grades and went to that library a lot, and we're just kind of lost without it. As soon as they heard it was going to close they said, ‘We can't have this.'”

In October, Elizabeth Forward School District, which donated space for the branch at Central Elementary School, told library officials they would have to move the branch out of the school by June because the district needs the space for educational purposes.

The township once had been looking to relocate the library to its Chapel Drive property but dropped those plans in 2012. This year the township did not allocate its annual $10,000 donation to the library.

Ross said the church's program is called Summer Saturday Story and Activity Time. It begins this Saturday, and runs every Saturday through Aug. 17 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. The program is free and open children ages 3-8. Registration is not required.

“Because it's at the church does not mean that it's going to be all religious oriented,” Ross said. “This would be like the stories they would have read from the library.”

Ross said activities and crafts are part of the program.

More information is available by calling 412-384-5046 or 412-751-8068.

The theme for all of the area's summer reading programs is “Dig Into Reading and Beneath The Surface!”

Carnegie Library of McKeesport, 1507 Library St., is having a registration kick-off ice cream social on Saturday from 1-3:30 p.m.

The reading program runs from June 24 through Aug. 3.

Weekly storytimes are Thursdays at 9 and 11 a.m. Weekly craft times will be announced for teens. Special events include a visit from Anastasia the therapy dog on June 28 at 10 a.m.

Programs are open to children and families. Registration is required for special events this summer. Call 412-672-0672 or go online to and click on the events calendar.

Carnegie Library of McKeesport's White Oak branch at 169 Victoria Drive has its weekly readings on Tuesdays at 11 a.m.

The Duquesne branch, 300 Kennedy Ave., has its weekly readings on Wednesdays at 11 a.m.

Both branches offer the same activities as the main McKeesport location. Call 412-678-2002 for more information about White Oak, and 412-469-9143 for Duquesne.

Carnegie Library of Homestead, 510 E. Tenth Ave. in Munhall, started its summer reading program on Monday.

Activities are slated for children entering kindergarten through fifth grade Mondays through Saturdays at 1 p.m.

There are art classes on Mondays and environmental activities on Tuesdays. Wednesdays feature Quest Club, based on an online summer reading program. Thursdays are game days and parties are on Fridays. Saturdays are for family storytime. Programs are free and no registration is required.

A teen program is offered on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 3 p.m. for students entering sixth through 12th grades. Monday features a teen reading circle, Wednesday is teen time, and Thursday is a teen advisory board where youths are invited to help plan a community fair scheduled for Aug. 10.

The reading program runs through August. More information is available by calling 412-462-3444 or online at

Clairton Public Library's summer reading program started on Wednesday. It runs every Wednesday through July 31. Storytime is from 10-10:30 a.m. Activities such as crafts, puzzles and scavenger hunts are from 1-2 p.m. at 616 Miller Ave.

A summer reading party is planned for Aug. 14.

Call 412-233-7966 or go online to for more information.

Norwin Public Library, 100 Caruthers Lane in Irwin, began its program on Thursday with a visit from the Animal Rescue League of Verona.

The program takes place on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to noon and 1-2 p.m., Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings at 11.

Participants are encouraged to keep a reading log in order to qualify for prizes. Reading logs can be checked during any library visit. Each successful check gives participants a chance to win prizes, which include tickets to the Carnegie Science Center and Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. They will be distributed on July 25.

Programs are open to children 3 and older unless otherwise noted. Residency is encouraged but not required. Programs are free and registration is required. Participants can register online at the library's website,, or at the library the day of the program. It concludes July 25.

There will be special presentations at all Norwin Public Library summer reading program events. Presenters include Stage Right, Doc Dixon the Magician, storyteller Joanna Demorest, Mad Science of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and cartoonist Joe Wos.

Call 724-863-4700 for more information.

Pleasant Hills Public Library, 302 Old Clairton Road, hosts summer reading programs for babies through adults. The library had a program kick-off on June 8. It runs through Aug. 10. For more information, log on to or call 412-655-2424.

A special seven-week teen leadership reading program for ages 12 and older is offered Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at North Versailles Public Library beginning June 25. Registration is required by June 24. Those in the program become leaders for little library patrons. A summer reading program for youngsters in kindergarten through eighth grade begins July 2 and continues for seven weeks. Dig Into Reading/Beneath the Surface is the theme. Registration required by June 24. To participate in either program, contact Karen Schmidt-Ramsey at or call 412-823-2222.

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or

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