NRL Blog

Recently, our lives have been filled with adjustments to the way we do everything. The Neuse Regional Libraries are no different. We are adapting how we bring services to the community, and our popular Summer Reading Programs are no exceptions. The show must go on, but we must also rethink how we offer it.

The Teen Summer Reading Program theme is “Imagine Your Story.” Participants will explore fairy tales and mythology while continuing social distancing practices. Teens can sign up at any of the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Libraries and will receive a packet of activities they can do from home. In-library activities will begin after July 13. Pink Hill Public Library activities will be offered on Tuesdays at 3 p.m., Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library activities will be offered Wednesdays at 3 p.m., and La Grange Public Library’s teen programs will be offered Thursdays at 3 p.m.

Due to schools closing early this year and teens being unable to participate in regular social functions, we understand how difficult yet essential it will be for teens to find activities this summer that provide them with a way to socialize and be a part of the larger community, while also giving them opportunities to continue their educational growth and improve their level of literacy. We are excited to be able to offer these activities as a way for them to get out of the house and get back to learning in a fun and engaging format.

Events will include making magic wands, hand sanitizer, and creating glass dragon eyes and a “No-Sew Bag of Holding.” Any Dungeons and Dragons fans will recognize this as a great thing to have; for everyone else out there, it’s basically a pouch to hold their dragon eyes. We will also continue our Teen Book Club that has been meeting virtually through Zoom, but we will begin meeting in-person on July 23 at the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library at 4:30 p.m. to discuss The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. This selection is a Middle School Battle of the Books book and will help everyone get a good head start on that list before school begins this fall.

On July 22 at 3 p.m., the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Library will host special guest magical scientists Casey’s Laugh and Learn, and participants will explore sublimation, crystal balls, and screaming spoons! All Lenoir County locations will also receive a visit from Kelly Lewis, a local artist who will teach us how to make dragons in a jar during the week of August 3.

Packets will be available as early as June 1 and once an activity card has been completed, teens can turn in those cards for entries into a drawing for one of three prize packs: the Gamer’s Pack, the Artist’s Pack, and the Writer’s Pack. We would like to thank the Friends of the Kinston-Lenoir County Public Libraries for sponsoring these prizes for our participants.

What’s in the prize packs? This year the prizes have been expanded to include more items to cover more diverse interests. The Gamer’s Pack includes a Game Stop gift card and headphones. The Artist’s Pack comes with an art supply kit, subway graffiti sketchbook, and Sharpie pens, and the Writer’s Pack will feature story cubes, a Wreck This Journal book, and InkJoy gel pens. Each winner will also receive a gift card for Sweet Frog. What a sweet way to end summer!

We will also be continuing an extremely successful collaboration for the second year between the Greene County Public Library and Greene County Middle and High School. The middle school teens will have a choice of four books that are accompanied by discussion questions to be completed and turned in to their English and Language Arts teachers the first week of school. Students may read and complete questions for more than one book and will receive up to a 100-point credit in any class, if they fulfill all rubric requirements. Additional incentives include free time and a movie with popcorn.

This year the high school students are reading Neal Shusterman’s Scythe and will attend one of three interactive workshops to be held at the Greene County Public Library in August. Each two-hour session will involve fun learning activities, and a great time to catch up with friends! Here’s the payoff: Students who read the book and then attend the workshop will receive an automatic 100 points in their English class for the new school year, and will not have to complete the Summer Reading Project at school.

For more information about Teen Summer Reading or any of the rest of the Library’s summer reading programs, please call 252-527-7066, Ext. 133.

Beginning June 1, all Neuse Regional Libraries are opening at reduced capacity and limited hours. Curbside services will still be available. Click here for hours of operation.