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Community Counts at the Summer Reading Kick-Offs

5/11/2017, midnight

The much anticipated annual Summer Reading Challenge at the White Oak Library District kicks off at our branch libraries in Lockport, Crest Hill, and Romeoville during the week following Memorial Day. Reading by Design: Read Big is the theme to challenge participants to read more during the summer months. Children, adults, and teens may sign up anytime during the eight-week program beginning on May 30th and ending on July 21st, but registering during one of our kick-off events has its advantages – like ice cream and community art projects!

Lockport Branch Library, 121 E. 8th Street, Lockport:

Lockport’s Kick-off on Wednesday, May 31st, features an ice cream social, a 3D printer demonstration courtesy of Allos Technologies of Lockport, and a community art project, which exemplifies the Old Canal Days Parade theme of Community Counts. All of the Lockport kick-off activities happen between 1:00 and 7:00 pm on May 31st with Mayor Steve Streit starting things off at 1:00 pm with a ribbon cutting. Ice cream stations with toppings along with art stations where participants create a simple collage of their home (all supplies provided) are planned. The individual collages created that day will become part of a cityscape art scene displayed in our building during the summer.

The collage idea was proposed by children’s librarian Elizabeth Sanderson who is also an art history major with an interest in the work of Romare Bearden, who reflected the spirit of urban space in many of his famous pieces. The art project is perfect for everyone – young, old, and in between, and great for families to work on together. All of the collage shapes have been pre-cut from papers with interesting designs and colors. Participants need only choose the shapes and glue! Library staff have already gotten into the spirit of creating collages of their homes and of the library as a way to showcase the upcoming event. The cityscape created by staff will go on display at the Lockport Branch on May 13th -- a photo of which is attached.

Crest Hill Branch Library, 20670 Len Kubinski Drive, Crest Hill:

Crest Hill’s Kick-off on Wednesday, May 31st between 6:00 and 7:30 pm, features games, the opportunity to paint a quilt square on a wooden structure in the garden area, and Ice cream stations with a variety of toppings to get everyone in the community spirit. Participants will be invited to create a quilt block on a wooden structure that will be up all summer in the lovely little courtyard outside of the Children’s Department. The lovely grounds of the Crest Hill Branch located at 20670 Len Kubinski Drive lend themselves to this type of outdoor art especially well.

The idea for a community art project came from Crest Hill Children’s Librarian Brittany Whyte, and the idea to make that project a quilt came from Branch Manager Amy Byrne. The different squares of a quilt are like our community: different, but bound together by a common bond. The idea of a quilt to show community is in homage to the beautiful quilt that hung at the original Crest Hill Branch location for many years.

Romeoville Branch Library, 201 W. Normantown Rd., Romeoville

Romeoville’s Kick-off on Thursday, June 1st between 6:00 and 8:00 pm features a drive-in movie where KIDS make their own cars. Participants create their very own cars using loads of cardboard boxes, tape, markers and accessories. After kids cars are built, we’ll “drive” them to watch Mater's Tall Tales and enjoy ice cream, popcorn and drinks. Plus kids will be drawing houses and cars to fill our special "town" in the Children's Department. This unique town will be growing all summer and we want YOU to add your own special touches.

Don't forget ALL AGES are encouraged to register for the Summer Reading Challenge, and there’s something for everyone at all of our kick-off events.

For more information about how the Summer Reading Challenge works at our branch libraries and through our Outreach Lobby Stop service, please visit www.whiteoaklibrary.org/Summer-Reading-Challenge.