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Carnegie Free Library Summer Reading Program in Connellsville begins this week

Nancy Henry | for the Daily Courier
Judy Takoch (left) and Shirley Rosenberger, with the Carnegie Free Library in Connellsville, invite everyone to join a Summer Reading Program. Children, teens and adults can participate in a reading series, where they can keep a log to win prizes. Participation in all programs is free. Area residents are encouraged to register online at or stop in the library at 299 S. Pittsburgh St.

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By Nancy Henry
Monday, June 17, 2013, 7:26 p.m.

“Dig Into Reading” is the theme for the children's Summer Reading Program at the Carnegie Free Library in Connellsville, which begins on Wednesday.

The events schedule has been finalized and registration is going on now. Each Wednesday during the program children will meet for an hour, beginning at 11 a.m. in the library auditorium. The age group is generally 2-11, but exceptions can be made.

“The first day each summer is quite hectic,” Children's Librarian Judy Takoch said. “Children are being registered. We have various stations set up. People begin arriving at 10:30 a.m. and we often run late that day. It is a busy place. Parents are welcome to stay and usually do. They are also welcome to volunteer for the weekly programs.” Takoch asks that anyone interested in volunteering for the SRP to please contact her; volunteers are especially needed on the first day.

“There are students who need community service hours. I am happy to have volunteers from age 13 and up,” Takoch said.

A backyard carnival is scheduled the first day. The “Dig Into Reading Backyard Carnival” invites children to come for a fun hour of crafts, games, stories and activities. Learn how the Summer Reading Program works during this time.

On June 26, it's the “Dig Into Reading Magic Show With Steve Haberman” — a high energy, fun-filled educational show that utilizes magic, comedy, storytelling and lots of audience participation to teach kids all about using their imagination and the power of reading.

“I really enjoy coming to Carnegie Free Library. I've been there each summer for a few years,” Haberman said. “My show is very popular with the kids. They really like it. We want them to be excited about reading and having fun at the library. I do about 50 library programs every summer and one of my biggest crowds is always in Connellsville.”

On July 3, Stage Right will present “Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel.” The performers of “Stage Right” will transform an old favorite into a lively performance from their “Books Come Alive!” series.

On July 10, live animals will be in the “Wild World of Animals” program. Participants will see the animals of the underground world up close and learn about their lives underground.

On July 17, children will learn the value of worms to gardeners and all of us. Presenter Ann Talarek asks who is a worm farmer in “Worms Eat My Garbage.”

On July 24, it's the “Dig Into Reading Puppet Show,” presented by Joann Kielar. This puppetmaker uses her collection of puppets to tell stories such as “Dreams and Schemes and Fairy Tales.”

“My program is a very simple puppet show; no microphone, no curtain, no high tech. I tell the story and simply act it out with the puppets,” Kielar said. “I focus on some familiar stories and some that the kids might not have heard before, using this years theme of ‘Dig Into Reading.' I'm always hopeful that the children will connect with something outside of TV and high-tech screens, and come to an appreciation of live storytelling and puppetry.”

On July 31, Ray Owens presents “Dig Into Reading, A Great Mystical Adventure.” Children will travel on a musical adventure beneath the surface, dig down deep for creatures, treasures and mysteries of the Earth.

Aug. 3 is the last day for children to turn in their logs. An awards picnic is then held on Aug. 7, when children celebrate the end of the SRP and the fun they have had. There will be prizes and food.

The Rotary Club of Connellsville, as part of its community nonprofit giving, has donated to the SRP at Carnegie Free Library.

“Connellsville Rotarians volunteer their time at various Club projects throughout the year in order to be able to make yearly donations to some of our community's nonprofits, Rotary Club President Ken Brooks said. “We recognize the importance of Carnegie Free Library to our city and are proud to contribute to the success of the children's Summer Reading Program that benefits so many area kids.”

Other groups and individuals who would like to contribute are encouraged to contact library director Casey Sirochman at 724-628-1380.

Lunch will be provided after each Wednesday program through the Summer Food Service Program. The Carnegie library is a feeding site. A free meal is offered to youth under age 18. Sites are physical locations where food is served. The sponsoring organization that will be preparing, delivering and serving the food is Champion Christian School. All SRP participants are encouraged to stay for a free lunch after each program.

The SRP for teens is every Tuesday, beginning June 18. Logs have begun. The title is “Beneath The Surface.” Weekly attendance is not required, but there will be opportunities to participate in activities that will culminate in the unveiling of the “Beneath The Surface” museum that exhibits the projects the teens have completed. This program offers them a chance for creativity and the opportunity to earn prizes for reading. Call Shirley Rosenberger at 724-628-1380 or email for more information.

At noon on Saturdays beginning June 22, the adult SRP and discussion group called “Groundbreaking: Events that Changed History” begins. Download the informational booklets for the teen and adult programs or check out the children's schedule found at the library's website ( All of these SRP are offered at no charge.

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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