As children from across Texoma prepare for summer vacations, area libraries are ready to take them on trips to distant worlds. Librarians across Grayson County have released details on their annual programs aimed at children during the summer season.


For its reading programs, the Sherman and Denison Public libraries plan to take readers on a trip to far off planets and worlds in what it is calling “A Universe of Stories.” While Denison’s program kicked off Saturday, Sherman’s program begins Monday.


“It encourages you to think for yourself, generates new ideas and exposes you to things that are different from what you regularly experience,” Sherman Library Services Administrator MeLissa Eason said about the importance of reading.


Eason’s program will feature decorations and activities with a space theme while library staff will be wearing themed T-shirts for the event.


“It really is a themed event where we want kids to show an interest in science and technology,” Library Administrative Assistant Susan McGinn said.


She clarified that the books children can read include a variety of topics ranging from fiction to non-fiction. And just for signing up, children will receive a free book from a selection at the library. Readers will also be logging their reading activities for the chance for more books. For every 15 hours or 15 books a child reads, they will be able to pick an additional book for a total of five.


For the first completed log of 15 hours or books, the readers will also receive a free pass for swimming at The Splash, McGinn said. They will also be able to earn “Astrobucks” that can be used to purchase prizes at the library’s end of summer event on Aug. 3.


Eason estimated that the program will attract about 800 readers to the library. Last year, the program saw about 500 participate, but Eason attributed this primarily to the recent construction and renovation at the library.


Over in Denison, the public library be hosting different programs every Saturday and Tuesday throughout most of the summer.


Denison Youth Services Librarian Deborah Wise said the summer months are critical to maintaining reading levels, and children can lose up to a reading level during the three-month period. Wise also said students who read during the summer are better prepared to enter the next grade level.


In addition to reading activities, children who participate in the program in Denison will also be given arts and crafts projects with a space focus. Wise said the programs will be for children from kindergarten through eighth grade running every Tuesday through July 16.


“Part of our mission is we want to be more than a place to read,” Wise said. “We want to be a place for discovery, creativity and empowerment. The essence of what we do in our summer reading program is to promote the enhancement and enrichment of lives through reading. We do it through equal access to materials for everyone. That is one of the components of the public library. Everyone can have access to materials.”


Wise said one of the highlights is the summer reading challenge for adults and children. She said there will be virtual badges and prizes for reading books.


Other area summer programs include the Pottsboro Library Summer Reading Challenge taking place now through Aug. 15 for children entering first through sixth grades and the while the summer reading program at the Whitesboro Public Library has already begun, according to library officials, all sports are full at this time.


To learn more about these programs visit, http://www.Facebook.com/ShermanPublicLibraryTX, http://www.Facebook.com/DenisonPublicLibrary, http://www.Whitesboropl.org, or http://www.Facebook.com/PottsboroLibrary.