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Library to host big bash with luau theme to celebrate conclusion of Summer Reading Program

By Ty Butler

A participant at last year’s party to celebrate the conclusion of the library’s Summer Reading Program.

Unicoi County Public Library’s End Of Summer Closing Party will feature a luau theme for the popular event, which will be held at the library on Saturday, July 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Selena Harmon, Unicoi County Public Library Director touted the closing party.

“This is an opportunity for people in the community to gather and socialize,” Harmon said. “It’s wholesome fun and everyone is welcome, whether you’re part of our community or somewhere else, we just invite everyone.”

This year’s closing party is free of charge and will feature the ASPIRE Book Bus, rescue vehicles, arts and crafts vendors, LEGO challenges, yard and water games, selfie photo stations and a table reserve for a visit from a Rocky Fork State Park ranger. 

Harmon reminded that the event is not limited to summer reading participants — anyone and everyone is invited.

The library will also feature various local organizations like 4-H, Unicoi County Health Department and the Unicoi County Family YMCA.

The closing party is part of the library’s “Oceans Of Possibilities” summer reading initiative — a nationally recognized program put in place to halt summer reading regression, something that Harmon referred to as “the summer slide.”

Harmon said that the initiative has since expanded, embracing older readers and other groups.

“It has evolved into a program that includes children who aren’t yet in school, homeschoolers, adults and senior citizens,” said Harmon. “Literacy is important to everyone. Its roots are in preventing the summer slide, but it’s also a beautiful way for communities to learn and connect with their libraries.”

Harmon said that the library’s goal is to host a family-centered, wholesome program that really serves the community. 

“We want there to be something for everyone, and there will be,” she said.

The closing party is only one day of the library’s July schedule, which is packed with events and programs  such as lessons in Spanish conversation for adults on Tuesday, July 13, an Adult Book Club event on Thursday, July 14, and a Campout Storytime on Tuesday, July 26.

Call the library at (423) 743-6533 for more information.