BOONE – The Watauga County Public Library’s annual Ice Cream Social and Summer Reading Kickoff will be held on June 12 at 2 p.m. Youth of all ages and their families are welcome to come out and enjoy the fun. The festivities include magic with Jack of Hearts, music by Tommy Smith, face painting and Twist the Balloon Man. There will also be ice cream provided by King Street Creamery.

This summer’s theme, “A Universe of Stories,” expands horizons and may stretch the limits of your mind. Since it includes a “Universe,” there’s bound to be stories to entice everyone. This event, along with all of the library’s programs, are free and open to children of all abilities.

The public library focuses primarily on literacy and has programs planned to keep children reading and learning all summer. Watauga County Public Library Youth Services Librarian Judith Winecoff believes it is important for parents to instill habits of reading in young children.

“You are your child’s first teacher. Point out people, animals and objects in pictures. Read to your children and ask them to read to you,” Winecoff said.

The summer reading program rewards time spent reading or the number of books read; reader’s choice. Children who participate in summer reading programs keep their minds active and return to school in the fall ready to learn and succeed, the library says. Incorporating reading into a daily routine instills lifelong literary skills and lays a strong foundation for individualized educational growth.

There will also be an opportunity to promote family giving at this event. The library encourages you, although it is not required, to bring a canned good for the Health & Hunger Coalition. The Watauga Humane Society is also accepting donations of dog and cat food.

Any questions? Call (828) 264-8784 (option three), visit the website at or stop in and ask any librarian for assistance. For more information on Western Watauga’s summer reading events, call (828) 297-5515.

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