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Library ends summer program with awards

VALLEY — On Friday, Bradshaw-Chambers County Library capped off a very successful summer reading program with an awards program. There was such extraordinary participation on the part of youth everyone who met their reading goals couldn’t be recognized in a single program.

They had to have four of them. The library was closed to all other activities to recognize the great job done this summer by young readers, some of whom read over 1,000 books.

The first awards program started at 11 a.m. The children present plus their family members just about filled the library’s main floor. There were three more awards programs in the afternoon. Altogether, more than 600 people spent part of their day at Bradshaw-Chambers County Library.

This year’s summer reading program theme was Libraries Rock. Bradshaw-Chambers County was rocking on Friday.

“Wow! What an incredible summer we’ve had,” Librarian Mary Hamilton told the 11 a.m. group. “We had a record-breaking year with 61,851 books read. That’s a 61 percent increase over last summer.”

That comment drew a loud round of applause.

“Thank you parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors for getting them here to the library,” Hamilton said. “We also thank our sponsors. The donations we received from them allowed us to have backpacks, school supplies and 75 programs. We are grateful for Mrs. Sylvia Word McCullough for her dedication to the library. She wanted children to enjoy themselves on trips to the library and to develop a love of reading that would last them a lifetime.”

McCullough died in 2016. “Her donation helps us with our bowling parties and other events,” Hamilton said.

Each youngster recognized on Friday received a certificate, a medallion and a coupon for a free slice of pizza from Johnny’s Pizza in downtown West Point.

Assistant Library Director Tabitha Truitt thanked the parents present for allowing their children to participate in the program. “Our teen volunteers are instrumental in the success we had,” she said. “Most of them stayed with us from the kickoff event in early June through the art program we had last week. We’ve had a great summer because we all worked together as a team. Every great team has a leader. Our leader is Mary Hamilton. Please give her a round of applause. Please let our sponsors know you appreciate their support of what we do. We’re proud of all of our readers. We’re just as proud of someone who read one book as we are of someone who read 1,000 books.”