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HCPL hosts Summer Reading Program

Bella Jo Branstetter, left, and Jasper Atkins are pictured with Author Leigh Anne Florence, center, during the library’s Summer Reading Program. Photo submitted.

Mary Beth Sallee

Reporter, Hart Co. News-Herald


This summer, the Hart County Public Library (HCPL) once again introduced local children to new ideas and places – all within the comfort of their own county – thanks to the library’s Summer Reading Program.

For many parents, the program provided great opportunities for their children to learn about a variety of topics and also meet book authors.

Such was the case for Beth Atkins and her son, Jasper.

“I attended (the program) as a child and had such fond memories of the experience that I wanted to make sure my own child had the experience as well,” Atkins said. “Jasper has attended each year since he completed story hour as a preschool student.”

Atkins, who is also a school librarian, said she does her best to support the HCPL and its Summer Reading Program since it provides students with experiences outside of the classroom.

“We enjoyed the opportunity to meet two different Kentucky authors during this summer’s event,” Atkins said. “Leigh Anne Florence and Eddie Price spent time talking to individuals after their program, where they signed and discussed their books with those in attendance.”

According to HCPL Director Vicki Logsdon, the library’s Summer Reading Program has been active for well over 25 years. At any given time throughout those years, there has been from 70 up to 150 students signed up for the program.

“We try to do a variety of stuff every year, but it seems like we usually gravitate towards a magician, a puppet show, just anything that’s going to appeal to the younger kids,” Logsdon said.

Logsdon stated that having this program available for children helps to promote reading while school is closed for summer break.

“It keeps them involved in different kinds of reading during the summer,” Logsdon explained. “It prevents that lag that they have if they miss out on stuff when they go back to school…A good reader is a good student, and a good student is going to grow up to be a productive citizen, so anything that we can do to foster that and develop a love of reading is going to be an asset to the whole community.”

Throughout the year, the Hart County Public Library provides a variety of additional opportunities for children as well, including a story hour, a homeschool group that meets monthly at the library, and also programs within the local school system.

For additional information, visit the library’s website at

Author Eddie Price, right, with Bella Jo Branstetter and Beth Atkins, center. Photo submitted.

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