WILLIAMSTOWN -- Local children are being encouraged to follow their dreams as part of this year's summer reading program.
Mindy Hackner, children's librarian at the David and Joyce Milne Public Library, said Wednesday that the nationwide program, "Dream Big -- READ!," began locally June 25 and will go until Aug. 10.
"About 120 kids have already signed up to participate, and we're hoping more will sign-up as the summer goes along," she said.
When children sign up, they receive a reading log and a "dream journal," she said.
"We're asking them to pay close attention to their interests, as well as what they hope to do someday, and record them in that private journal," she said.
There are also weekly drawings for prizes, craft activities and story time gatherings throughout the summer, she said.
To better explain the program's theme, the library has also added a subset program called "Dreamers and Doers," Hackner said.
"We're featuring four people who had some kind of dream or idea in mind and pursued it," she said.
Those people are Benjamin Franklin, Amelia Earhart, Leonardo da Vinci and Sequoyah -- who developed a written alphabet of the Cherokee language in the early 1820s.
Hackner said "interest areas" containing books, videos and links to websites have been set up in the library for children to learn as much as they want about the featured dreamers.
The first event of the summer reading
The North Adams Public Library and the Adams Free Library will launch their summer reading programs with events today. Domino The Great, a magician, will be at the North Adams Public Library beginning at 6:30 p.m., and storyteller Mary Jo Maickack will be at the Adams Free Library beginning at 6 p.m. Those attending the Adams event are encouraged to wear their pajamas.
Deborah Bruneau, director of the Adams Free Library, said "Dream Big -- READ!," will end Aug. 15, and as of June 25, 60 children had signed up for the program.
"We want them to come to love reading and keep up with their reading skills over summer vacation," she said.
The library will also offer the nationwide summer reading programs for teens and adults, she said. The adult program, "Between the Covers," started June 18 and will run through Aug. 17, while the teen program, "Own the Night," will follow a similar time frame, she said.
"We've been doing the adult program for about five or six years, and we've had the teen program since the interior of the building was renovated about three years ago," she said.
The events for the adult reading program focus on health and fitness and will begin at 6 p.m. on July 17 with a gentle yoga class, she said. On July 31, Nicole Anagnos, of Zen Tree Wellness, will talk about healthy eating, and Zumba will be featured Aug. 7, she said. The date for the last event hasn't been set, but there will be massages offered by students from Mildred Elley school, she said. All events require registration.
The Milne Public Library is also offering the teen program for fifth- through 12th-graders, and North Adams is offering the adult program for people ages 14 and up.
In addition, the Clarksburg Public Library is participating in the summer reading program, which launched June 25 with a presentation promoting reading by Ed the Wizard. Library Director Lynn Depaoli said events will be held July 9, 16 and 23, beginning with Tracy Litchfield bringing some rehabilitated wildlife.