Claws and Paws, Scales and Tales and Hanging Out at the Library are the themes of this summer's free reading programs for children at area libraries.
"Summer reading programs are for enjoying reading, not required reading," said Becky Ware, director of the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library in Pine. "They keep children interested in books between the time school is out until it starts again."
Children ages 3 to 13 can participate in a variety of activities every Thursday in June from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
There is no need to sign up ahead of time.
June 1: Kickoff
June 8: Christy Powers will be speaking about pets in general, dogs in particular
June 15: Learn about farm animals and crafts
June 22: Learn about horses
June 29: Wrap up with barbecue and games like animal bingo
Movie Madness starts at 11 a.m. each Thursday in July.
The titles of G- and PG-rated films are to be announced and it is up to the parents to determine if the movie is OK for their children to view.
Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library is at 6124 W. Randall Place, Pine, it is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, except Thursday, when it closes at 7 p.m. For more information, call, (928) 476-3678. Children will have puppets to delight their eyes, songs to sing with each other and stories about special animals on Wednesdays or Thursdays at Payson Public Library.
"Children are rewarded for time spent rather than quantity of books read," said MaryLynn Brehens, Claws, Paws, Scales and Tales co-coordinator.
Parents of children who wish to attend the Payson program need to sign their children up, June 14 through June 29, for one of three program times.
Wednesdays, June 21 - July 12, are from either 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Thursdays, June 22 - July 13, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Children can also participate just by reading and doing the activities at home.
New activity sheets will be available each week and may be picked up any time during library hours.
The annual awards picnic for all participants will be held Wednesday, July 19 (time is to be announced).
"We hope the summer reading program helps children love to read," said Harryette Stanley, CPST co-coordinator.
"And the program can always use volunteers."
The Payson Public Library is located at 328 N. McLane Road. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (928) 474-9260.
Hanging Out at the Library is the theme of the summer reading program at Tonto Basin's Public Library.
"It will include stories, games, crafts and treats," said library director Fran Cain.
Children are invited to join the program, which will take place from 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesdays from June 14 through July 5.
The library is adjacent to the public school on Old Highway 188, hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information, call (928) 479-2355.