CANTON, Mo. -- Halfway through its summer reading program, the Canton Public Library continues to be a bustling place.
School-age children have been flocking to the library at 403 Lewis ever since the summer reading program kicked off on May 25, and there's been no letup in activity -- with more events yet to come.
"We want the kids to enjoy reading," said Trina Karl, the library's director. "We want them to develop positive attitudes about reading and the library itself, and we want to attract new users to the library."
Library officials this year have been attracting kids with a series of special events and drawings for book giveaways. In addition, kids have been earning incentive prizes every time they read five books.
"We have something going on every week until school is back in session," Karl said.
Some of the special events yet to come at the library include:
º Wednesday, July 19, 2 p.m. -- Blank Park Zoo of Des Moines, Iowa, will present a program on "Animal Architects" featuring live animals.
º Thursday, July 27, 10:30 a.m. -- Missouri Department of Conservation Officer Jason Vaughn will give a program on conservation-related topics.
º Thursday, Aug. 3, 10:30 a.m. -- A baseball-themed program will be offered, with the speaker to be announced later.
º Thursday, Aug. 10, 10:30 a.m. -- Missy the Chihuahua will be in the library. "She loves to have kids read to her," Karl said.
The summer reading program is helpful for youngsters, she said, because it keeps them reading during the months school is not in session.
"There is such a thing as a summer slump," said Karl, a retired teacher. "If we don't keep kids engaged in the reading process, they actually lose the skills that they've gained during the school year."
Karl said the library strives to get entire families involved in the summer reading program because of the benefits it offers.
"Participating in library things as a family has been shown in research to improve reading skills and improve writing skills," she said.
Canton Public Library is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
More information is available on the library's web site: www.cantonmopubliclibrary.org.