The Base Library’s summer reading program came to a close Aug. 16. The excitement is continuing as they start planning for next year’s summer program themed “Paws to Read.”
This year’s program, “Have Book, Will Travel” ended with a special presentation by the Ka Ohana O Keolanani Halau (group). Bonnie McGee, kumu (teacher) of the Halau offered instructions in basic hula dance moves and taught the children about some of the traditional instruments used in hula dance.
“I like serving, I like to give back to the community. This is one way that I can share our culture and our dancing,” said McGee. “By having this program, kids can find books that tell Stories about Hawaii or Japan or china.”
McGee who has been dancing since she was ten years old, teaches adults and children ages five and up. “In our halau we’re not all Hawaiian or Tahitian. It is a diverse group of kids and adults that come for more than just lessons, we are ohana meaning family,” said McGee.
The demonstration ended with performances by the younger members of the halau. McGee described the performance as a “celebration of Hawaiian and Polynesian culture.”
Several of the performers have participated in the reading program all summer long. “I have one that’s usually in the back waiting for her time to get up and dance and she’s reading,” said McGee.
Carlyn Mallory, library technician, said that the last day of the summer reading program is usually “a big event.” In addition to the weekly performance, the children were offered refreshments and a craft. The top 12 readers for the summer were entered into a drawing for the grand prizes.
Mallory reported that the students collectively read 12,550 books this summer. Last year the total count was around 9,100. She said the program is beneficial for the students reading and social skills.
Annemarie Navarro, military spouse, said that she tried to bring her children to as many of the summer reading events as possible. She has taken her children to similar programs in Germany and Korea before her husband was stationed at Edwards AFB.
“There was a man that came with a robotics demonstration and my kids loved that,” said Navarro. “They actually participated in a robotics camp because of that.”
It’s been a great experience. There’s not a lot going on over the summer and it’s a great incentive for the kids to keep reading during the summer. My kids are excited to come to the library and get more and more books so they can put them on their list,” added Navarro.