To the editor:
This year’s successful summer was made possible by the many people who dedicated their time and effort to our “A Universe of Stories” summer reading program at the Hamilton-Wenham Library Children’s Room. We could not have done it without our amazing communities and I would like to extend my gratitude to all of our summer readers and their families, as well as everyone who participated in presenting and attending our story programs, contests, workshops and special events.
To kick off our summer of fun we had, back by popular demand, Mobile Mini Golf in the library, where patrons of all ages enjoyed putting around the library! Children and their families also enjoyed a number of superb evening performances, including stories and music courtesy of the award-winning Eshu and Motoko, solar system investigation with Dinoman, nanotechnology comedy and juggling with the Amazing Nano Brothers, and investigating the science behind magic courtesy of the Museum of Science.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, we held a Star Party that featured the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club. After an informative lunar presentation, attendees were able to venture outside for observation through club telescopes. We also had celestial crafts that night where participants created (and tasted!) Oreo cookie moon phases, fashioned celestial magnets and pipe cleaner constellations, and played a Cosmic Corn Hole game.
Bryan Sheckells, a fifth grade teacher at the Winthrop School, shared his love of science with our young patrons, with his Sync with Science programs. The Sheckells family continues to lend their time and creativity to bring a magical fairy morning here to life. This summer, Extreme Fairies zip-lined, parachuted, whirled and tumbled here across our space.
The library welcomed back Dr. Charlie Hoffman, biology professor at Boston College, who taught patrons of all ages how to identify, collect and care for monarch eggs and caterpillars. Be sure to come by the children’s room to see our active monarch butterfly tank, and have a guess (think big!) on how many monarchs will emerge from their chrysalises here — they are still emerging nearly daily!
With the support of both Hamilton and Wenham town departments and local businesses and Homeland Security, we were able to host our much-anticipated annual Vehicle Night. This program delights families every summer with a wondrous display of public safety and construction vehicles of all kinds. Wildlife Encounters brought us incredible animals to teach participants all about their fascinating characteristics. In collaboration with Paige Menchini, our coordinated family and community engagement representative for the Hamilton Wenham Regional School District, we offered a Countdown to Kindergarten program, where a cadre of administrators read stories and helped children practice their kindergarten-ready skills.
Our summer reading program finale ice cream party celebrated all of our accomplished readers. We would like to thank the Cherry Farm Creamery of Danvers for providing the delicious ice cream and all of the toppings to ensure every summer reader got a tasty treat. This spectacular night could not happen without their yearly dedication and generous support. More than 400 summer readers eagerly earned prizes throughout the summer while supporting this year’s local charity, the North Shore Amateur Astronomy Club, a local organization committed to education and observation.
HAM the Space Chimp, this year’s summer reading mascot, traveled throughout Hamilton and Wenham visiting local businesses and town offices. A big thank you to everyone who participated in the searching for HAM, and congratulations to our winners: Austin, Emma, MacKenzie, Blythe, Jessie and Patrick! We would also like to extend our thanks to all of the businesses that hosted HAM: Connolly’s Pharmacy, the Bagel Shop of Hamilton-Wenham, the Wenham post office, Cumberland Farms, Salem 5 Bank, and Talbots. Visit the Children’s Room to see HAM, where he is happily greeting patrons after his many summer travels.
Finally, we would like to thank everyone who came out to support us this summer. We are so grateful for every volunteer who helped with events and crafts, shelved books and assisted in and around the Children’s Room. Another big thank you to our local summer partners: Early Childhood Partners/CFCE, Cape Ann Early Intervention, Massachusetts Library System, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, the Boston Bruins, Topsfield Fair, Hamilton-Wenham Cultural Council, Museum of Science, Mark Warner’s Professional Martial Arts Academy, the U.S.S. Constitution Museum and Chipotle Mexican Grill. We cannot complete our thank you without acknowledging the dedicated efforts of library staff, the Friends of the Library, and our trustees for their support and assistance, not just this summer, but throughout the entire year. Thank you for another successful summer season, and we hope to see you soon for all the fabulous fall programs coming your way.
Hamilton-Wenham Public Library