Madison Heights Public Library announces summer lineup

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published May 17, 2019

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MADISON HEIGHTS — To prevent the “brain drain” that can happen to children on summer break, the Madison Heights Public Library is planning a variety of events for the coming months, including a space-themed reading program that will reward them with prizes.

The program this year, titled “A Universe of Stories,” begins June 10 at the library, located at 240 W. 13 Mile Road. Toddlers through teens can read books to complete a “Rocket Ship of Reading” that will earn them raffle tickets for a chance to win a grand prize. Among the grand prizes this year is a family pass for the new Allegiant Nonstop Premier Family Entertainment Center on Dequindre Road in Warren.

And separate from the reading program, there is the annual Stuffed Animal Sleepover at 7 p.m. June 20, a presentation with a NASA Solar System Ambassador at 6 p.m. July 11, and a StarLab Planetarium inside the library at 10:30 a.m. July 27.

A new addition this summer is the Anime and Manga Summer Club for people ages 13 and up, where teens will learn to draw manga (Japanese-style comic books) with tutorials by YouTuber Mark Crilley, meeting on Mondays and Tuesdays at 1 p.m. from July 1-30.

The last date to sign up for the reading program is Aug. 1. Signing up is a simple matter of visiting the library to fill out a registration card. For every 20 minutes of reading, participants can color in a stripe on the Rocket Ship of Reading; every five stripes or 100 minutes earns a raffle ticket for a chance to win a grand prize.

In addition to the family pass to Allegiant Nonstop, other grand prizes include packages for Planet Rock, Escape Room Zone 1, AMC Movie Theater, and grandstand seats for four people at the United Shore Professional Baseball League.

“The reading program helps encourage kids and teens to read all summer. Reading during the summer has been shown to help prevent the summer slide,” said Amanda Gehrke, the youth services librarian. “Through free events and fun incentives, we hope to give kids a reason to keep reading, as well as develop a love for books and the library.”

For the Stuffed Animal Sleepover — one of the library’s most popular programs — kids bring one stuffed animal or doll for a sleepover at the library, and after an evening storytime, kids say goodnight to their stuffed animal friends and come back to collect them the next day, June 21, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., along with a surprise from the sleepover. The program is for kids of all ages, but is geared toward kids ages 2-6.

For the NASA presentation, NASA Solar System Ambassador Jeff MacLeod will bring a physics simulator that demonstrates things such as asteroid impacts. And for the planetarium, attendees will study the craters, mountains and ridges that make up the topography of the moon, while also learning about the phases of the moon, how each phase changes the moon’s appearance, and associated legends. The planetarium will even take a look at other moons in the solar system.

The planetarium is for people of all ages, but is recommended for kids in third grade through sixth grade. Currently there is only one showing, but there could be a second showing with enough demand.

As for the Anime and Manga Summer Club, the idea began when the library received a large donation of anime films and series, which led Priscila Verani, the adult reference librarian, to look into the manga comics from which some of them were adopted. This led her to Mark Crilley on YouTube, known for his manga tutorials; he granted the library permission to include them. The club will also be watching the complete anime series “Witch Hunter Robin,” in addition to following manga drawing tutorials for beginners.

“The fact that we will be attempting to draw manga will enhance the appreciation of the anime drawings,” Verani said.

Roslyn Yerman, the library director, said that the library tries to keep things fresh.

“The library approaches programming with an eye toward creativity … (and) with an appreciation of community input,” Yerman said.

For more information, call the Madison Heights Public Library at (248) 588-7763.

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