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Summer reading program dazzles youth
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas—Members of the San Angelo Renaissance Guild, a local organization dedicated to studying the Renaissance Era and performing free re-enactments through- out San Angelo, lecture Team Goodfellow youth about how different life was in those days. The event, which took place June 1, was part of the 2011 Midsummer Knight’s Read, a free children’s summer reading program offered at the base library. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jessica Keith)
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Summer program makes reading fun for youths

Posted 6/10/2011   Updated 6/10/2011 Email story   Print story


by Connie Hempel
17th Training Wing Public Affairs

6/10/2011 - GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas  -- More than 100 youths here are set for a lighthearted summer this year with the Defense Department-wide reading program A Midsummer Knight's Read.

This year's theme, borrowed from William Shakespeare's mischievous play, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," is geared to teach youths about the Renaissance Era through weekly presentations at the base library.

Although the official kick-off event for the program was June 1, Ms. Cindy Tews, Goodfellow librarian, said registrations for youth age 0-16 will be accepted until June 22. The program is divided into two age groups: 0-7-year-olds and 8-16-year-olds.

The number of youths registered so far this year has already met last year's total.

"We're anticipating record numbers," she said.

She attributes the summer reading program's continued success to the fact that for the past few years, libraries throughout the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy combined their resources, enabling them to do more because they get better deals.

"Instead of each service doing their own program, the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy pooled their money and turned it into a DOD-wide program," she said.

Another plus to this joint venture is that all Air Force, Marine or Navy bases have the same theme, incentives and awards, giving youths who move during the summer the opportunity to pick up where they left off.

Goodfellow youths in the summer reading program have already had visits by the San Angelo Renaissance Guild dressed in full costume, knights from the Iron Clad Tournament Company, and a Nature Center presentation on animal heraldry and the coat of arms. Future events include medieval art and history, decorating a shield and a visit by a local weatherman. Programs are every Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. and usually last about an hour.

The 0-7-year-old group will have books read to them during their program, and the 8-16-year-old group will have presentations and reading lists.

The last program is slated for July 27 with an awards ceremony on Aug. 3.

Although participants do not have to attend every week, Ms. Tews said they should continue to log every book they read, and the books that are read to them if they are between ages 0-7, throughout the summer.

She said awards will not be based solely on the number of books logged, but will include other categories such as who had the most fun at the library, or who liked to answer the most questions.

"We're trying to mix it up a little bit because we don't want it to be based just on numbers," she said. "We want it to be about the fun of reading."

For more information or to register, stop by the base library in building 712 on Ft. Phantom Hill Avenue behind the Event Center, or call (325) 654-3232.

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