Pierce, Thurston County libraries have something for all ages

Local library systems packed with programs, activities

By Lauren Perkins on August 29, 2012

With school starting up soon, it's a great time to get involved with a local library. 

There are many great libraries in Pierce and Thurston County with excellent systems aimed at getting people of all ages in the door and into reading through enjoyable activities.  Becoming a member at one of these libraries is quick and easy and it will have only benefits; fun for the family, free and educational activities (which are free to military personnel and to residents in the county of the library), a new way to meet people, free tutoring assistance and motivational tools to help kids get into reading.

The Pierce County Library systems have several great programs to get everyone involved. The Read and Win program serves as a great incentive to read.

"(It's) is a great way to get kids into reading," said Rose Jetter, branch manager at the South Hill branch in Puyallup. "Any reading they do counts and all the kids have to do is keep track of their time spent reading."

Kids put a star on a reading poster every time they read 20 minutes, then bring their ticket into the library and can receive different levels of prizes for the amount of time they spent reading.  For younger children, there is baby play and learn, toddler time and even a family story time programs. The baby and toddler story and song time is a great way to prepare children to read and understand words, Jetter said.

That's not all though, as there are other activities such as the Read to a Dog activity, where kids can share their favorite book with a certified therapy dog. The Explorer Kids Bookmobile is a library on the go that stops at places other than the library.

There is also the Fetch Club with Ruff Ruffman, which works in conjunction with the PBS program. In this club, kids will have a chance to work in groups to solve entertaining engineering and science trials. There is also the summit garden club, which allows participants to learn about plants and nature and give back by completing an outdoor garden project. And the Monday afternoon program for teens provides a place where they can play with a Wii system or participate in other activities such as crafts.  There is also Wacky Wednesdays or Totally Awesome Thursday featuring movies, Lego Madness and more.

"The South Hill community has many children. This is a family community, so our programs are really aimed at all of the children in the South Hill area to not only keep their skills up during the summer but also year-round," Jetter said. "When a family reads together it helps build the family ties.  Also, there's no newspaper or way to keep the community informed about activities, so the library serves that function in the community as a way for people to connect with each other, come and participate in all of the great activities, and find great materials that they can check out and take home."

For more information, visit www.piercecountylibrary.org or in Thurston County, visit www.trl.org.