Grayson Heighton’s lips turn to form a slight smile.
The nine-year-old’s smile spreads as he sits at the table at the Tatamagouche Library and talks about something he loves to do – read.
“I love books about adventures, mysteries, and superheroes. My favourite is Dog Man,” the youngster said. “He has the head of a dog, but the body of a cat. He has to stop Petey the cat who tries to take over the world.”
For the past four years, Grayson has been one of the roughly 100 participants in the library’s Summer Reading Club, along with his younger sister, Berlyn, 8.
“I like to read – it’s good entertainment. And I like that the reading program has different activities to do.”
“I read every day…well, when I have books to read,” said Berlyn.
Desiree Jans, the manager at the library in Tatamagouche, said the Colchester-East Hants Public Library has a new children’s coordinator, who is bringing a broader reading program to the local areas so they’re similar across the region.
Known as the TD Summer Reading Club, participants can range in age from three to 12. Registration begins June 23, and ends Aug. 18.
“There are two parts,” said Jans, about the program. “There’s a reading challenge, where participants keep track of every 20 minutes of reading. There are different levels, depending on how much time is spent reading, and prizes for reaching the levels.”
The second part is what Grayson loves the most – the activities, such as having a picnic outside. Jans said there are prizes associated with activity completion as well.
“Most of them are toys,” the boy said. “You can read any book you want while complete an activity – it could say to read under a tree for so long. I read at least 25 books last summer.”
Elaine Heighton, the mother of the two children, said they usually read on a daily basis, especially in the summertime.
“They love checking off those sheets,” she said. “It’s like a mini challenge for them. It’s an extra incentive too with the activities, to check off another box.”
She said her children love participating in the program because it gives them an opportunity to visit the library more often. They attend with their school during the year, so they don’t go as a family as much as they do in the summer.
Jans said there is also a computer component to the program, should participants wish, and they’re given an access code.