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‘Read Around the Block’ launches summer at library

MADISON – Madison Public Library will launch summertime activities during the annual “Read Around the Block” party, this year on May 20 from 8 to 11 a.m.

For 2017, library staff has expanded activities. “Children of all ages won’t want to miss fun runs and relay races, big trucks, birthday cake, animals, crafts, and, of course, sign up for summer reading,” Director of Public Relations Laura McPhail said.

“We have representatives from St. John the Baptist Catholic School and Madison City Schools on board to expand available information and offerings,” Youth Services Librarian Maggie Allen said. “School librarians and PTAs will host activities, like bubbles and sidewalk chalk, crafts for painting reading rocks and bead bookmarks and presentations from drama clubs and literary characters.”

“With school systems’ support, we’re at the beginning stages of planning for a kids’ literature festival,” Allen said. With the advent of the larger, new library, the staff hopes to host authors and musicians year-round, especially at the 2018 summer kickoff.

Opening the event, fun runs and relay races will be open for strollers, toddlers, pre-kindergarten, elementary-age groups, teenagers and parents. “The runs will be contained in the library’s front parking lot so families can enjoy all festivities,” Allen said.

At the party, children can explore ‘monster’ vehicles, like a firetruck, dump truck, police car, tractor, HEMSI vehicle and trash truck. Animal Architects will bring exotic creatures, skilled at building for survival.

To celebrate Madison library’s 20th anniversary, guests can enjoy a slice of birthday cake and join in singing “Happy Birthday.”

“We’re hoping Discovery and Liberty middle schools will host some activities highlighting the eclipse that will happen this summer,” Allen said. “Plus, we’ll have face painting, balloon animals, games and more.”

The summer schedule includes “Science with Hudson Alpha” on June 8 at 4 p.m., “Child Safety” with Alexander’s Martial Arts on June 29 at 4 p.m. and “Keep it Wild!” on July 20 at 4 p.m.

In addition, youth can join the Alabama 4-H Science School for an exciting, interactive educational program with their cast of kid-friendly animals. “Discover how animals play an important role in making our world a better place,” Allen said.

Read Around the Block is free. For more information, email LeAnna Whitaker at lwhitaker@hmcpl.org.

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