Raffles, games, free books & fun for all ages
Summer is just around the corner, and the Kingsessing Library will kick it off with a celebration on Friday, June 4th, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. The event will be outdoors on the north side of the library building, on and around the Rec Center tennis courts.
The library is located on 51st Street between Chester and Kingsessing Avenues.
After well over a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will salute the strength of the Kingsessing community, as well as rewarding it with some safe outdoor fun. It will also serve as a kick-off for Summer of Wonder, which is the Free Library of Philadelphia’s expanded version of summer reading. Educational research has shown that young people lose as much as a fifth of the gains made during the school year if they don’t keep reading and learning over the summer. Kids at the Kick-Off who sign up for Summer of Wonder will get free books to keep and be entered into a raffle for exciting prizes.
The Kick-Off will be filled with great events for people of all ages. Library staff will be running a fun art table and an exciting treasure hunt making use of the “Little Free Libraries” in the neighborhood. The group Hip Hop Fundamentals will be teaching hip hop dancing. The wellness center Studio 34 will teach an African dance class and an accessible chair yoga class. Folks from some of our most beloved community institutions will be doing craft activities, including Bartram’s Garden, the University City Arts League, and the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Neighborhood Bike Works will be there providing bike repair advice, fixing flats, and raffling off a bike to one lucky youth.
Everyone who comes will have the option of leaving with full hands, pockets, and bags. Between the library and the community groups, free giveaways will include books, art supplies, coloring books, cloth masks, hand sanitizer, and more.
There will also be food! Those details are still coming into focus, but anyone attending will be sure to get their fill of sweet treats.
We are still in the midst of a global pandemic, sadly, so masks will be required and public health procedures must be followed. In recognition of the pandemic, the kick-off will include a space where folks can write down the accomplishments of themselves and their loved ones during the pandemic. There will also be a table run by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention where folks can write down names of people they have lost since the pandemic began. There will be a short program in the middle of the Kick-Off where an MC will read these accomplishments as well as the names of the dearly departed, followed by a moment of silence.
So come on out and have fun in the sun with your neighbors. It’s been too long!
(Ben Remsen is branch librarian at the Kingsessing Library).