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Kids bunch for lunch at library

Echo Press photo by Heather Huwe

Reading throughout the summer can help maintain or improve children's reading skills when school is no longer in session. But including reading into family summer activities in new, fun and exciting ways can be difficult.

The Douglas County Library is offering a "Lunch and Bunch" program that includes fun reading related activities for school-age children throughout this summer.

Karen Simmons, the children's librarian and temporary library director, said a summer reading program is something libraries like to offer.

Simmons normally runs the program but has enlisted the help of Kathy Johnson, the elementary media specialist at Voyager, to run the program this year while the library continues its search for a new director.

Jim Odden also helps with the Lunch and Bunch program for one week each year. Odden is a retired teacher and has helped with the program for the past four years.

The Lunch and Bunch program has been run during the summers for about 10 years, said Simmons.

The goal is to keep children interested in reading and maintain or improve their reading skills through the summer. Simmons encourages children to read for fun during the summer.

"The kids enjoy being able to eat in the library," added Simmons.

The Lunch and Bunch program meets Mondays and Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m. at the Douglas County Library. No advance registration is required.

Parents are welcome to stay during the Lunch and Bunch activities. Summer activities are free of cost at the library.

The program started June 14 and runs until July 27. Each week there is a new theme for the program. The remaining Lunch and Bunch schedule includes:

July 12 and 13 - Reading with "Charlie," July 19 and 20 - a Water Your Imagination- craft day and July 26 and 27 - librarian's choice.

Each week has stories, games, puzzles, crafts or other activities related to the theme.

All school-age children, kindergarten completed and older, are welcome to bring their lunches to the library meeting room to enjoy stories and activities shared by the children's librarian and other special guests.

Children are also welcome to come in, check out books and pick up a new prize each week at the children's desk through the end of July.

The Friends of the Douglas County Library donate the prizes and decorations for the summer reading program.

The library hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.