When a child opens a book, they also open oceans of possibilities, and not to mention seas of sunshine! “Oceans of Possibilities” is actually the theme of this year’s Hernando County Public Library System Summer Reading Program. That is a free program that will be running from June 15 through July 28 at the four branches of the Hernando County Library System in Brooksville and Spring Hill. This program is designed for kids ages 5-12, 8-12, and 13-18.
“The theme this year is ‘Oceans of Possibilities’ and our programs are themed to the ocean, ocean animals, and water in general,” said Youth Services Librarian for the Hernando County Public Library Justin King. Each Oceans program is custom designed for its target age group. “Our daily morning programs are for elementary age and will be filled with stories and end in a craft,” said King. “We also have several tween and teen programs throughout the summer.” The elementary program will meet every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with activities to be focused on boats, fish, mermaids and other sea legends, real life sea monsters, sharks, waters of the world, and whales. Tween programs, meeting June 15 through July 26, will include ocean STEAM exercises, ocean crafts, a SpongeBob party, a survival challenge, shark week, and bubble science. Teen programs, meeting June 16 through July 28, will feature activities that include homemade bath bombs, ocean painting, sushi making, water marbling, mini zen gardens, DIY journals, and ocean escape room. “Registration is required for every program. Patrons can register through our calendar and registration opens 14 days before each program. All the summer programs are free and all materials are included,” said King.
The oceanic theme also extends to this year’s Summer Storytimes at Hernando libraries, with stories centered around Sharks offered at 6 pm on June 23, Pirates at 3:30 pm on July 12, and Ocean at 3:30 pm on July 29. This summer also marks the return of the Reading with the Rays program, a reading program conducted in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Rays. King shared, “We’re also offering Reading with the Rays in person for the first time since 2019. Starting June 6, they can pick up a game card at any of our branches. Children can earn little prizes the more they read and if they read 24 hours, they will get a voucher for 2 tickets to a Rays game.”
Throughout the summer, the library system also will offer the special programs Mad Science at 3 pm on June 21, and Didgeridoo Down Under at 3 pm on July 22. Registration is required for both programs. And students can earn fun rubber duck prizes when they read throughout the summer and record their completed books on summer reading logs, now available for pickup at Hernando library branches. “We are always happy to offer free and educational programs to all children and teens throughout Hernando County during the Summer while they are off of school,” said King.
Space is limited for the Hernando County Public Library Summer Reading Program, please register at https://hernandocounty.librarycalendar.com/. Registration opens 14 days before each event. The library is located at the Main Library / Brooksville, 238 Howell Ave., Brooksville, FL 34601, East Hernando Branch, 6457 Windmere Rd., Brooksville, FL 34602, Spring Hill Branch, 9220 SpringHill Dr., Spring Hill, FL 34608 and West Hernando Branch, 6335 Blackbird Avenue, Brooksville, FL 34613.