To the editor:
As we come to the completion of another fantastic summer here in the Children’s Room at the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library, I would like to thank all those who participated in our Dream Big, Read summer program. Whether you were a summer reader, story program participant, attended workshops, entered our many contests and raffles, or attended our Wow! It’s Wednesday, our Special Thursdays or our Super Saturday programs, you helped make this summer spectacular.
As with every summer, there are many thanks to express. The Friends of the Hamilton-Wenham Library is invaluable in supporting all of our summer programs. The Hamilton-Wenham Cultural Council, in conjunction with the Friends, sponsored two of our Wednesday night programs. “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” came alive for audiences through the Hampstead Stage Company’s fantastic performance, and children and adults explored the science and art behind bubbles with Keith Michael Johnson’s Bubbleology. Children created music from recycled instruments with the help of Vic & Sticks, which was presented with funds from an LSTA grant. Families were excited to learn about and see live owls with Wingmasters, and Awesome Robb’s performance was as much a comedy act as a magic show, delighting those of all ages. Todd Brodeur’s World Class Frisbee Show provided families a fun afternoon, where children not only saw some amazing tricks, but learned a few of their own. Bryan Sheckells, fifth-grade teacher at Winthrop School, brought his love of science to the library as he guided children’s exploration of biomes, whales, big cats and rockets. Charlie Hoffman, biology professor at Boston College and fan favorite, ensured the health and well-being of our community of monarch caterpillars that we raised in the Children’s Room. He also visited one Saturday afternoon, and taught families how to identify, collect and care for monarchs on their own. Some butterflies have yet to emerge from their chrysalises and can still be seen in the Children’s Room. If you’re lucky enough to be here on the day one emerges, you can watch its release. Additionally this summer, representatives from Up With People not only volunteered at Vehicle Night and our Ice Cream Party, but also presented multicultural story programs here, sharing facts, songs and stories from three different homelands.
Despite some inclement weather, we held our 14th annual Vehicle Night, which would not be possible without the support and presence of both towns. The parking lot was filled with public safety and construction vehicles of all types, and many thanks go to the fire, police and the public works departments of both Hamilton and Wenham. The Mix 104.1 Ice Cream Truck also provided some delicious treats, and Apache, a Homeland Security K-9, was once again a highlight for all in attendance.
The Summer Reading Program concluded as always with our Super Summer Ice Cream Party. Special thanks go to Cherry Farm Creamery of Danvers for providing the ice cream, as well as all the toppings and everything needed to bring frozen treats to our summer readers. This fun night would not be possible without their annual and generous support. Many thanks to Toni Carolina, local photographer and one of our photography contest judges, who was able to attend the ice cream party and award our winners in person. Toni also led two photography workshops once again for children to gain the skills needed to take eye-popping pictures. Thanks also go out to Jean Buckley and Janet Mackay-Smith, our other photography contest judges. Janet Mackay-Smith, an editor at the Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle, will be publishing the winners in upcoming editions. Many congratulations to our winners (listed in no particular order): Cordelia, Neve, Ian, Hayden, Mary, Vanessa, Eli, Nidhi, Ethan, Amelia, Sam and Kennan!
Many children once again enjoyed earning and spending their “bat bucks” at our library store. While participating in our summer reading program, children also had the opportunity to “give back.” Children wrote the title of their favorite books on paper bats to display on a wall in the Children’s Room. Once the wall was full, a donation was made to Bat Conservation International to assist in efforts to eradicate white nose syndrome, a serious threat to the health of bats around the world. In keeping with our themed summer, this year’s library mascot, Silverwing, was a stuffed bat who traveled throughout Hamilton and Wenham for six weeks. Did you spot him among the business and town offices? Congratulations to all who did and entered our contest: Lily, Vanessa, Jared, Taylor, Kaitlyn, Ava and Eli. Special thanks go out to those who hosted Silverwing this summer: Talbots, the Jolie Tea Company, the Wenham post office, the Hamilton-Wenham Veterinary Clinic, the Salem Five Bank and Connolly’s Pharmacy.
Finally, many thanks go out to all of our sponsors throughout the summer. The Topsfield Fair offered the Read and Win program, as well as the Growums program. Mark Warner’s Martial Arts Academy provided certificates for all of our summer readers. Archie Stewart, kite educator, donated kites for our raffle. We so appreciate all of the individuals who supported and volunteered their time to run story programs, assisted at vehicle night and the ice cream party, or shelved books or helped out as needed. No thank you would ever be complete without acknowledging the efforts of the entire staff of the library for their assistance, not just this summer, but year-round. Thanks for another fabulous summer, and be sure to visit us in the fall for all the exciting upcoming programs!
Hamilton-Wenham Public Library