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Lehighton Library is oasis in summer heat


Special to The Press

While temperatures soared and humidity dampened spirits, patrons remained cool as cucumbers inside the Lehighton Area Memorial Library.

The library’s summer programs are in full swing, and youngsters and their parents are taking full advantage.

On one such day, library director Melissa Hawk was in deep conversation with sisters Elyse and Sabine Mickey.

The trio was busy discussing their favorite books and why they liked them.

“When I was little, I remember reading a book shaped like a snow globe,” reminisced Elyse, 7, who named the book as one of her favorites.

Her six-year-old sister, though, was more circumspect.

“I can’t pick a favorite book,” Sabine said. “It’s just so hard to pick. I like all the books, I guess.”

The girls were proud to share a jumping cup that they had crafted minutes earlier at the library as part of the summer activities available at the site.

The library also offers in person programs like baby and toddler time and Storytime, drop-in activities and STEAM programs.

Newcomers are welcome too.

“It’s actually our first time here,” said Lehighton resident Sarah Smith who was introducing her young child to the library. “We got a notice in the mail so here we are.”

Meantime, Walker, 14 months, was busy exploring the library on his own.

Baskets of colorful toys beckoned him in vivid colors and furniture scaled to his size added to the adventure.

The library is offering a full menu of summer activities.

“We’re in the middle of our summer reading challenge,” Hawk explained. “And it’s going really well. The kids are doing great.

“For every day they read, they get tickets they can later redeem for prizes.”

Besides numerous indoor activities offered this summer, the library has just announced a brand-new program.

“We just got a grant for a StoryWalk,” Hawk boasted. “This project allows us to provide a fun, engaging activity outside the walls of the library.”

StoryWalk participants move along a path, pausing at one of 20 stations throughout the lower and upper parks near the library.

Each station will feature pages from a children’s book.

Participants can enjoy activities featuring reading, singing, movement and other skill crucial to literacy.

StoryWalks have been installed in 50 states and 13 countries.

The project is funded through the Family Engagement Grant, a federal Library Services and Technology Act grant made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

For more information on StoryWalk and other programs offered this summer, visit lehightonlibrary.com.

PRESS PHOTOS BY ANNA GILGOFF Library Assistants Dana Behler and Kathy Long bookend Melissa Hawk at the Lehighton Area Memorial Library.
Library Director Melissa Hawk engages Elyse and Sabin Mickey in a book talk about their favorite stories.
Sarah Smith and her son, Walker, had so much fun exploring the library, they plan to visit again.