LaGRANGE — The mid-afternoon sun was hot, but a group of children stood in the atrium of LaGrange Memorial Library on Friday enjoying themselves despite the humid conditions.
The children used Sharpie markers to create designs on white T-shirts atop tables in the outside area of the library. As more and more children show up, Darla Rance, coordinator of youth services, runs to get another table to accommodate all the children.
After students are done drawing, they use eyedroppers to drip liquid on the marker designs, causing the ink to spread. The day’s activity was Sharpie tie dye, and by the end of the hour, dozens of children had their custom made shirts ready.
The Friday event was an activity aimed at 9 to 12 year olds. The library has activities for young children through high school ages planned throughout the summer.
Possibly the biggest is the Summer Reading Program. Two of the programs — one for children 12 and younger and one for teenagers — kicked off June 1.
The children’s program meets every Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the library. It encourages children to read during the summer and help avoid losing reading progress over the summer.
“Teachers say they see regression when children don’t read over the summer,” Rance said. “We’re trying to engage their interests” to encourage them to continue reading.
This year’s theme for the children’s club is “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read” and attendees are encouraged to read at least 18 books — or an equivalent amount of reading for longer , more complex books. Children who meet their reading goals receive prizes.
The teen club has the theme “Get in the Game: Read,” which next meets on Thursday at 4 p.m. for a zombie makeup workshop led by Olivia Grego. Remaining teen meetings are July 14 at 3:30 p.m. for a graphic arts and comic book drawing lesson by independent comic creator Kyle Puttkammer and 4 p.m. July 21 for a drama workshop.
Also for teens, the library is hosting Culture Club on the second and fourth Fridays of each month at 1 p.m., with each program featuring a focus on a different world culture with guests and items, including food, for each.
Parents may still sign up their children at the library, 115 Alford St., for the program until Thursday.
To see what activities are scheduled for the LaGrange Memorial, Hogansville and Harris County libraries, check the Troup-Harris Regional Library system online calendar at www.thrl.org/events/.
Matthew Strother is the editor of LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2153.