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Summer reading programs start this week at Charles City Public Library

Summer reading programs start this week at Charles City Public Library
Charles City Public Library Youth Director Stacey Leerhoff reads a book to children at Tuck-In Tuesday. Press photo by Kelly Terpstra
By Kelly Terpstra,

The Charles City Public Library begins its summer reading program this week, and new Youth Director Stacey Leerhoff says there is a host of events on tap for kids to have a blast and at the same time learn about the world around them.

This year’s children and teen summer reading program theme is a “Universe of Stories.” The program is in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Kids can explore the wonders of the universe and learn about the solar system through all sorts of cool books to read.

“We have a collection of books for them to just come in and check one out,” said Leerhoff.

New this year are teen events and the high school book club, where participants can read a book a month, come back to the book club and talk about it.

The book for June is “Knife of Never Letting Go.” July’s is “An Unkindness of Magicians,” and in August the selected choice is “The Art of Starving.”

Members of the book club can pick up their book at the first of the month, read it and come back to the library on Tuesdays at 3 p.m. for snacks and discussion.

There are also three scheduled events on Tuesdays for teens who have completed sixth grade and up. On June 25 there will be a campfire with s’mores. July 16 will feature deck building games, card games and pizza. On August 13 there will be mini-golf in the stacks with snacks.

For elementary age kids, the fun starts this Wednesday with “All Wonderful Wednesdays.” This Wednesday, the Steve ‘n’ TV Illusion Show will take place.

“It should be fun. He looks like he’s crazy, silly and fun,” said Leerhoff.

The following week the Iowa State Extension Office will present “Bugs-O-Mania” – a hands-on experience to explore the universe of creatures with exoskeletons.

“I’ve told all the kids they don’t have to touch the bugs if they don’t want to,” said Leerhoff.

Eric Michaels, a local magician, will perform his act to end the month of June.

“He does a great family show. I’ve seen him several times,” Leerhoff said.

On Wednesday, June 10, the Grout Museum will present a program entitled “Bubbles.”

All “Wonderful Wednesday” programs run from 1 to 2 p.m.

Iowa Public Television’s cape crusader – Dan Wardell – will make a stop in Charles City as part of his “2019 Reading Road Trip.” Wardell will visit Charles City on Thursday, June 20, at 10 a.m.

“He visits only a handful of libraries every summer – out of all the libraries in Iowa. You have to kind of throw your hat in and he just picks a handful a year. It’s kind of a big deal that he’s coming,” Leerhoff said.

The IPTV personality brings a high-energy and interactive adventure for the kids during his story time program.

“Dan Wardell is always happy. He is excited. He wears a cape. He’s like the superhero of reading for Iowa Public Television,” said Leerhoff.

Craft programs for older elementary kids will be on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
Kids can build a rocket ship in the Children’s Room on Tuesday, June 11. There is galaxy in a jar and galaxy slime that will be made the following Tuesday. An alien beaded key chain and galaxy ice cream are some of the other highlights for the craft programs.

There are programs for families as well. “Read and Feed Thursdays” run from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Families are encouraged to bring a blanket and sack lunch and listen to Leerhoff read stories outside the library.

“It’s just kind of having a picnic with the librarian, I guess,” said Leerhoff.

There is also storytimes for preschoolers that start at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesdays and an evening story time that is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

The library events are free and open to everyone. For more information or to register, visit, the Charles City Public Library’s Facebook page or call 641-257-6319.