Southwick Library starts summer reading program with alpacas and more

Southwick Public Library Director Lynn Blair and Heather Paparella, young adult specialist. (SOUTHWICK PUBLIC LIBRARY PHOTO)

SOUTHWICK – The Southwick Public Library is joining communities around the nation in encouraging reading this summer.

The library is participating in the Commonwealth’s “Tails and Tales” Summer Reading program, which encourages adults and children alike to read throughout the summer.

“Our goal in doing the summer reading program is to help curb learning loss,” said Young Adult Librarian Heather Paparella. “Studies have shown children, the spring, are reading a month ahead of what they are reading in the fall. The summer program helps with that.

Paparella said the program is for children and adults.

“It is good for children to see parents read,” she said. “It encourages lifelong reading.”

Southwick will kick-off the program June 26 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. with activities, games, balloon animals, and even a pony and some alpacas. Visitors can sign up that day or pre-register starting June 21

Visitors no longer need to call-ahead to visit the library during open hours, which are Mondays and Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Wednesdays from 1-8 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The reading program runs June 26-Aug. 6

Paparella touted the program as a fun way to enhance everyone’s leisure summer reading and get those school summer reading assignments completed. Participants earn chances to win prizes by reading, completing challenges and attending unique, fun-filled events. Prizes include gift certificates to restaurants and entertainment in Southwick. Check the library Facebook page, Teen Blog and Southwick Public Library website to see more information.

Sign up for the program beginning June 21 at southwickma.beanstack.org or download the Beanstack app. Log reading hours and select prize options using Beanstack as well.

The library has other programs this month, including a history presentation and trivia.

Animal Trivia is June 28 at 6 p.m. on Zoom. “How well do you know animals? Can you tell an animal by its call or prints? Whose stripes are those?! Put your knowledge to the test,” states the library’s website. Winners earn a prize and bragging rights. Participants can compete solo, with family or friends or make your own team before the day of. Bonus points for teams with a cool animal-themed name. To register, have an adult email [email protected] to receive the zoom link.

On June 30 at 6:30 p.m. local historian Dennis Picard will virtually present “Death and Disease in Colonial New England.” Life was precarious in early New England, and there were many perils, not the least of which was the cyclical appearance of fatal epidemics. Another equal danger to health was the state of medicine and its understanding of what caused — and how to cure – some of the more common and serious of those afflictions. Picard will share a bit about the symptoms, causes and treatments endured by those living in the Pioneer Valley and greater region. To sign up, email [email protected].

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