McKenzie’s Monologue

Published 7:23 am Wednesday, June 11, 2008

By Staff
Fun at Atmore library
By Adrienne McKenzie
The summer reading program is back on the agenda at Atmore Public Library and I am excited!
When interviewing library director Cathy McKinley Monday for an article about the summer reading program, “Catch the Reading Bug,” I was thrilled to hear about all the different activities on the schedule for the youngsters of Atmore.
Last Friday the children were entertained with the “Wild West Show.” Cowboy Bruce and Cowgirl Vernelle Brannen were a lot of fun to watch. While Bruce sang songs about cowboys, Vernelle played the keyboard for background music.
The Brannens read to the children from “The Big Red Cowboy Book” and gave a multitude of history behind cowboys.
Upcoming programs include Orkin, Rick Rakestraw and his animals, Shirley West, a balloon artist and Honors Day.
Since the program is entitled “Catch the Reading Bug,” it’s clever that the library booked Orkin as one of the entertainers. Mrs. McKinley said Orkin has never been one of the summer reading program entertainers, but I bet the show will be an interesting one for the children of Atmore. The Orkin program is June 13.
I attended the summer reading program last year when Rick Rakestraw brought his many animals. There was one animal in particular that I remember. Last year Rick brought a monkey along with him and the two played “basketball” together to entertain the children. Well, not only did it entertain them, but it also kept me laughing!
This year Rick Rakestraw will be at the library on June 19.
I was also at Shirley West’s program last year. She brought many animals from the reptile family including turtles, a baby gopher tortoise and an alligator. Many of the animals were fun last year, but I’ll admit I was a little frightened of some of them.
Shirley West will bring her critters to the library June 27.
The balloon artist booked for the summer reading program will be a success with the children because everyone loves to see nothing turn into something. Apparently the artist will make balloon hats for the kids in attendance who wish to have one.
The balloon artist will be at the library July 3.
And on Honors Day the kids will receive awards for the various contests the summer reading program hosts.
Honors Day will be held July 11.
I think that the summer reading program is great for children. Yes, I think it’s important for kids to go outside and play around in the dirt and just be kids, but I also think it’s important for them to continue learning throughout the summer months so they aren’t rusty when school starts back in the fall.
Plus, with all of the great entertainers at the summer reading program, the children learn many wonderful things while having fun. It’s a win-win situation for them and for their parents.
So parents, if you are wondering what’s so great about the summer reading program, go see for yourself. You’ll have a good time, but most importantly your children will have a good time!
Adrienne McKenzie is managing editor for The Atmore Advance. She can be reached at 368-2123 or emailed at

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