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Pasco Library System offers events to draw kids into summer reading

Liang the acrobat will spin plates and whirl the Chinese yo-yo. Silly Sam will offer some goofy tunes for playing, singing and dancing. A couple of magicians will wow the crowds with their sleights of hand, and the guys from Giving Tree Music will bring enough drums for everyone to join the rhythmic roar.

If this sounds like an awful lot of commotion for the quiet of your local library, take heart: It’s all about stirring up excitement for summer reading. The Pasco County Library System will kick of its annual summer reading program at 2 p.m. May 30 with a special performance at every branch.

What do illusionists, acrobats and actors have to do with books?

“Basically our theme this year is be creative,” explained Wendy Fox, a children’s librarian at the Hudson Regional branch. “All of these guys are creative in one way, shape or form — with music, with their bodies, with acting out.”

And the goal, of course, is to get kids in the door: Come for the live entertainment, stay for the books.

“We get the kids in the building first, and get them to sign up for the summer reading clubs,” said Karen Correa, the library system’s youth services coordinator. “At the end of the summer, in order to come to another celebration, they need to show that they’ve read enough books. Then that’s one of their prizes.”

The summer reading clubs for elementary and high school students require the kids to read six books — about one a week. Toddlers and preschoolers should have 20 books read to them.

Kids can log their progress online or by visiting a library branch. They also participate in weekly activities at the library.

The system is launching a new program this year for ’tweens — fourth to seventh graders — at the Hudson and Land O’Lakes branches only. Slated activities include a program by the Salvador Dali Museum, as well as making ice cream and competing in Dance Dance Revolution.

If the ’tween program gains traction, it could expand to other branches next year.

The summer reading programs are fully funded by the Friends of the Pasco County Library System, the Connerton Community Council and the St. Petersburg Times Fund, Inc. There is no fee to participate.

Calendars of summer events are available at all Pasco library branches, or online at

Summer reading kickoff events

All of the events are scheduled for 2 p.m. May 30. For information or to sign up, contact the branch of your choice.

• Hudson Regional: Liang Acrobatic & Comedy Show, featuring Chinese acrobat Liang, who has appeared on America’s Got Talent, and her husband, comedian and master of ceremonies Bill Patti. 8012 Library Road, Hudson, (727) 861-3040.

• Regency Park: Silly Sam the Music Man, whose original music show is targeted to preschool and kindergarten children. 9701 Little Road, New Port Richey, (727) 861-3049.

• Centennial Park: Battersby Duo, an award-winning musical comedy team with an educational twist. 5740 Moog Road, Holiday, (727) 834-3204.

• South Holiday: Magician Cesar Domico, with entertaining illusions for people of all

ages. 4649 Mile Stretch Drive, Holiday, (727) 834-3331. • Land O’Lakes: Giving Tree Music, which will bring plenty of drums for a hands-on lesson in music and rhythm. 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O’Lakes, (813) 929-1214.

• Hugh Embry: Play’N Around Traveling Children’s Theatre, which brings storybooks to life with live musical theater. 14215 Fourth St., Dade City, (352) 567-3576.

• New River: A1 Magic Show, featuring illusionist and balloon artist Luis A. Campaneria. 34043 State Road 54, Zephyrhills, (813) 788-6375.

Pasco Library System offers events to draw kids into summer reading 05/19/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 10:41pm]
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