Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress
Six-year-old Kate Meaux, left, and her three-year-old sister Elizabeth, look over the artwork they created Wednesday during a “Dig into Reading” program hosted by the Jacksonville Public Library. According to Youth Librarian Peggy Jo Jones, the annual summer program is a popular one for children ranging in age from preschool to fifth grade, because it incorporates fun arts and crafts projects with learning. But the girls' mom, Claudia Meaux, calls the program a godsend because it helps her plan fun activities with her daughters and allows them to interact with other kids.
“The girls couldn't wait to come when I told them about it,” she said.
“Dig into Reading” is a six-week program that lasts through July 17, and focuses on gardening, nature and, “in particular, creepy crawlies,” Jones said. “I like bugs and kids like bugs.”
The program is offered for three different age groups: Children coming out of kindergarten through second grade meet Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.; youths completing third through fifth grades gather at 11 a.m. Tuesdays; while toddlers 18 months and older join with preschoolers at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays.
Programs for younger children feature a story time based on popular children's books and a nature-themed craft, while older children focus on non-fiction books about insects and nature, Jones said. They also participate in learning games and art projects, she said.
The July 10 program features magician Eugene Wilkes.
For more information, contact Peggy Jo Jones, 903-586-7664. Registration is ongoing, with forms available at the library and online at www.jacksonvillelibrary.com.
Progress photo by Jo Anne Embleton