Children in Wantagh had a ball this summer taking part in the library’s annual summer reading program, so their reward was grabbing a ball and heaving it down the alley at AMF Wantagh Lanes.
About 150 kids came out to the bowling alley on Wantagh Avenue last Friday evening. The event was hosted by the library and free for all children who took part in the summer reading club. This year’s theme was “Fizz! Boom! Read!”
Children’s librarian Susan Finck said that about 580 children took part in the summer program. In addition to reading books, there were science experiments the kids could do at home.
“We had excellent participation,” she said. “It keeps the kids reading throughout the summer, so when they go back to school, they’re reading ready.”
Jennifer Rosen, 10, said she spent much of the summer reading “The Hunger Games” books. After she is done with the series, she wants to see the movies.
Finck said one of the advantages to the summer reading program is children can meet kids from other schools in Wantagh. Many of them gathered at the bowling alley on Aug. 22 for an hour and a half of bowling, and pizza.
Many children also went home with a prize. There were tickets to Adventureland, martial arts classes, gift cards and raffle baskets donated by community groups and businesses.
Finck said the summer reading program would not have so successful without the help of her 65 middle and high school volunteers. They helped with registration, recorded reading statistics and gave out prizes. Each also donated a $1 item for the raffle baskets. “The volunteers, I couldn’t do it without them,” she said.