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Young super readers invited to Bellingham Public Library

Ruby Chesson, 7, stands in front of a Captain America cutout at Bellingham Public Library. The cutout will be available for pictures during the library’s Superhero Party on Friday, July 17.
Ruby Chesson, 7, stands in front of a Captain America cutout at Bellingham Public Library. The cutout will be available for pictures during the library’s Superhero Party on Friday, July 17. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Bring your tights and capes to Bellingham Public Library for a party of heroic proportions.

From 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, July 17, superheroes 4 and older are invited to play games and make crafts to celebrate the library’s summer reading program theme, “Every Hero Has a Story.”

“We’re inviting kids to come dressed as their favorite superheroes,” said children’s programming specialist Bernice Chang. “It’ll be super fun.”

In the library’s lecture room at 210 Central Ave., kids will be able to decorate their own superhero from an outline on a piece of paper, craft their own heroic masks, and take pictures with cutouts of Captain America and Spider-Man. There will also be ball tosses, superhero-theme bowling, and door prizes throughout the afternoon, Chang said.

Partygoers are welcome to drop in; no reservations are needed. Young superheroes can dust off their Halloween costume, grab a camera and enjoy an afternoon of fun.

“We’d love to see parents and kids dressed up,” Chang said, adding that as word of the party has started to spread, people are getting excited about playing games and making crafts.

But the party is about more than flashing utility belts and secret identities.

“Our main goal for the summer reading program is just to talk about the importance of reading,” Chang said. “The theme just makes things a little more fun.”

The theme is decided on by the national Collaborative Summer Library Program, Chang said, so libraries from Chicago to Florida will be celebrating heroic reading habits throughout the summer.

Summer interrupts school-based learning and can hurt children’s reading skills, according to the program’s website.

Reading programs during the summer can help kids retain their skills and reach new goals when they return to school in the fall.

Superheroes are everywhere in popular culture, from movies to video games, so heroes such as Batman and Superman continue to stimulate the imaginations of children.

But Bellingham Public Library doesn’t focus on just the heroes of comic books and blockbusters movies. On July 7, Bellingham Police Officer Shan Hanon spoke and gave a demonstration of the heroic roles of canine officers in law enforcement.

“The heroes in our community are readers, too,” Chang said.

The summer reading program runs through Aug 31. During that time, kids 5 to 12 are challenged to read or listen to 15 hours of literature. Reading logs can be picked up from the Central, Barkley or Fairhaven library branches, or printed from the library’s website, bellinghampublic library.org.

When kids reach their reading goal, they can go to the library for a mystery prize coupon from one of the library’s sponsors, plus a free book, a yard sign, and an invitation to the annual Summer Reading Recognition Ceremony on Aug. 20.

Robert Mittendorf is on vacation. Libby Keller can be reached at 360-715-2242 or libby.keller@bellinghamherald.com

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Find Robert Mittendorf’s Out With the Kids column online at BellinghamHerald.com/out-with-kids.

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