GARLAND — Inside the Miriam Lamb Memorial Library, a group of children gathered around Addie Hodges as she turned pages from a book about volcanoes.
“The melted rock is called magma and it’s pushed towards the surface,” Hodges said. “The volcano erupts.”
She continued as the children gazed at pictures of bright orange and yellow lava, exploding from a volcano.
“Most volcanoes form on the edges of continents,” Hodges said. “The word Volcano comes from the Roman God of Fire, Vulcan.”
It’s one of several lessons Hodges and other librarians are teaching children. The 2014 Annual Summer Reading Program (SRP) is under way for Sampson County Public Libraries. Along with Garland, sessions are held in Clinton, Newton Grove and Roseboro. Each day, Hodges and her assistants interact with about 30 students.
“The purpose is to encourage reading with a twist of fun activities for the children,” Hodges said.
The theme for 2014 is “Fizz..Boom…Read.” It’s related to science.
After a few sing-alongs, library assistant Rachel Honeycutt made a mock tornado using household items such as baking soda, water and food coloring. She was assisted by 6-year-old Julius Battle and Dioselyn Banos, 8.
Hodges serves Sampson County libraries as the children’s librarian. During the summer workshop, she’s also known as “The Mad Scientist.”
She enjoys hosting the hands-on activities and reading sessions for the participants, she said.
“I look forward to having the program every year to inspire children to keep reading throughout the summer months,” she said.
The at-home portion of the program allows children to read books and record them on logs. Next, children will bring the log back to the library to receive a book filled with incentives, a free book, and a certificate.
Hodges and Honeycutt would like to see more children in local libraries.
“We try to encourage it by talking with the parents,” Hodges said. She also makes trips to schools to promote library programs.
In addition to the SRP, Hodges runs a year-around story time program, twice a month at each library.
To conclude the summer reading program, the library is hosting a special program with the Flow Circus featuring magician and juggler Paul Miller. The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, July 26 at the JC Holliday Library in Clinton.