LAURINBURG — As the library’s Summer Reading Program came to an end, library officials said more than 2,000 children participated in the six programs.
More than 275 children filled the library during the “Reading Rocks” finale program on Wednesday. The show featured Jim Light, better known as Captain Jim, who’s magical storytelling was filled with songs and magic as he encouraged the children to always try their best.
For his magic tricks to work the audience had to say the magic word, which wasn’t abracadabra or please and thank you, but instead was reading to focus on the entirety of the program.
Light’s program is called “Magic with a Message” and not only entertains children and adults alike but also focused on real life and staying motivated. He brought in his own story to tell as well.
Eighteen years ago Light was the hit by a driver who was texting and driving. Due to the accident, he ended up losing his right leg. But the loss of his leg never brought him down and helped create the character he plays now, peg-leg and all.
He also spoke to the children on the keys to success and how important it is to do things like communicate, listen, learn, and not get discouraged. A big message was to always keep going no matter what knots are put in your path.
The inspirational performance not only taught the children valuable life lessons but also kept them on the edge of their seats with the magic he wove into the performance.
“We all need a lot of positive words of wisdom,” Light said. “No matter what age you are you, you can use positive words of wisdom.”
Now that the program is over, Youth Services Librarian Lynnette Butler is able to take all the comments given to her over the summer and create next year’s program — which will have the theme “A Universe of Stories.”
“Overall I’m really happy with how it went with this being my first year in the position,” Butler said. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback and a lot of response from the community.”
A total of 2,171 children came out to the six programs and Butler hopes to get 2,500 next year. She also said she noticed more circulation in the children’s section of the library, which she hopes means they’re reading more.
One big thing that Butler is planning to work on for the 2019 program is having a more even number of children at the two programs. On Wednesday’s there is a program at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and, according to Butler more children attend the morning event.
“We have daycare camps that come to the morning programs,” Butler said. “Next year we’re hoping to communicate more with them so we’re not overloaded with children during one program.”
Butler also hopes to get the community more involved as well as getting the library’s information out more. Some ideas she’s had includes book clubs for middle school students as well as one for young adults in the community. In all, though she’s happy for the support she’s gotten so far.
“I’m really grateful for everyone who came out and participated,” Butler said. “If anyone has any requests we’re happy to try and help with what we can.”
Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171 or at [email protected]