COAL CITY – Science is abound this summer at Coal City Public Library District where children are participating in the “Fizz, Boom, Read” summer reading program.
“This year we are using a collaborative summer reading program that is more cost-effective to the district,” René Norris, head of children’s services at the library, said. “They can pick and choose which classes they go to, and we have day and evening options.”
Children have been divided into age groups with appropriate names like “Atoms”, “Electrons”, “Protons” and “Neutrons” as they learn the science behind things, such as soda pop.
The program includes experiments, cooking and, of course, reading. Norris has found both fiction and nonfiction books based on the subject of the day that she reads to the children during the hour long program.
At Tuesday’s class, the students heard a nonfiction book about how soda pop was made, and then they got to create their own, using seltzer water and fruit juice.
Payton Vigna and Kylie Jackson both created grape-flavored soda and said it tasted just like traditional grape soda pop.
One of the classes each week deals with cooking and that has been a huge draw for some of the children.
“We try to do a lot of different things and the library does a great job providing a good experience for kids,” Chris Jackson, Kylie’s dad, said. “This one in particular is good, as a family we like watching the Food Network together.”
Kylie said learning how to cook has been the best part of the program for her, and while she liked the meatballs they made this week, she also liked the Hungry Cat fruit salad last week.
“I like to help mom cook cakes at home,” Payton said. “But the meatballs we made today were good.”
Several of the children said the program is making them want to help mom cook more at home. They even get to take home the recipe for the item cooked that day.
Charissa Dehler, who brought her son, Chase, to the program, said summer programs are a great way to give structure to summer.
“René always does a fantastic job,” she said. “This keeps us committed to reading 20 minutes a day.”
Dehler said by already being at the library for the program, it’s convenient to check out books and return them since they are already there.
Norris said a reading incentive is part of the program, and that children who read or listen to books are eligible to earn prizes.
Fox Foot and Ankle Center of Coal City has donated tickets to the Museum of Science and Industry that one lucky child will receive.
The program started June 5 but is ongoing through July 12. The events are free unless it is a cooking day, which costs $1 per child attending. The program is first-come, first-served and parents are encouraged to contact the library to check availability for the desired age group.
For information or to check availability, call the library at 815-634-4552.