Local Lifestyle

Paw Paw Public Library summer reading program kicks off variety of activities for young readers

by Kate Evans

The Paw Paw Public Library begins its annual summer reading program on Tuesday, June 27 with the theme of “West by God Virginia.”  It will highlight the people, places, community, history and culture of West Virginia, said Library Director Ginny DeFrancesco.

Summer program activities will include crafts, games, music, food, stories about West Virginia  and field trips.  Most activities will take place on Tuesdays.  Children’s librarian Janice Ross  will also be holding the Friday morning storytime activity for children 0-7 years old from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

DeFrancesco said they were having a West Virginia Day celebration on Tuesday, June 20 from 1-5 p.m. with a special West Virginia cake and beverages where youth ages 8-18 could sign up for the summer reading program.  Kids that signed up for the summer program would be stenciling a West Virginia t-shirt and choosing books to read during the program.

West Virginia books

Some West Virginia books that will be available for kids to read in the program are “Canary in the Coal Mine” by Madelyn Rosenberg, “Child of the Mountains” by Marilyn Sue Shank, “The Night I Freed John Brown” by John Michael Cummings and “When I Was Young in the Mountains”-author Cynthia Rylant and illustrator Diane Goode.

Two books for the younger children are “John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads”-a sing-a-long book for toddlers and kids illustrated by Christopher Canyon based on John Denver’s song-and “W is For West Virginia and More”-which is an alphabet book, DeFrancesco said.


On June 27 kids will create a West Virginia quilt hanging.  The quilt will consist of West Virginia symbols made by each child, said Ross.  Another activity that day is writing letters to grandma, grandpa or great-grandma reinforcing the things that the kids have learned from them, said DeFrancesco.

The program doesn’t meet again until July 11, which is their scheduled trip to Harper’s Ferry.  DeFrancesco is waiting to hear from the park ranger to learn what they’ll be able to see on their tour of Harper’s Ferry.

On July 18, the library plans a Hillbilly Hot Dog stand, Jeopardy games and painting on wood. They’re going to pick some paw paws ahead of time and have kids dissect them to the examine the seeds and see what’s inside, DeFrancesco said.

July 25 is their Seneca Rocks trip and pepperoni rolls.  July 29 is the summer reading program finale with a catfish fry, games, prizes and music by local musicians from BlackCat Music, DeFrancesco said.


DeFrancesco received a $4,200 grant from the Tom and Virginia Seely Foundation for summer reading program supplies and field trip expenses.

The times for the events for each Tuesday vary, she said.  Program participants would receive the schedule when they signed up.

For more information about the Paw Paw Public Library summer reading program, call 304-947-7013.