Children and adults of all ages can experience reading, science activities and more as Warren County Memorial Library hosts its Summer Reading Program June 24-July 26 with a celestial theme, “A Universe of Stories.” 

The reading program is sponsored by Friends of the Warren County Memorial Library and other local supporters. Participation is free of charge to the public.

Library Director Cheryl Reddish said that the Summer Reading Program will provide an opportunity for participants to learn that reading and science are fun, to improve their reading skills and spend time at the local library.

“The library is a community space. We want people to feel welcome,” she said. 

“A Universe of Stories” will begin with a special liftoff day on Monday, June 24, at 11:30 a.m. featuring balloon twisting by BoHo the Clown, a visit from Smokey Bear and Fat Cat, a rocket photo station and pizza.

Warrenton radio station WARR-1520 AM will broadcast live from the event, which will also feature representatives from government agencies and other guests, including the Warren County Health Department, N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Warren County Center and local law enforcement. In addition, Warren County beekeeper and farmer John Earl Alston will discuss agriculture.

The event also will mark the first day of registration for this year’s Summer Reading Program. Participants may register at the library, 119 S. Front St., Warrenton, to receive bookmarks and a reading log to keep track of all of the books they read over the summer.

Those who are unable to travel to the library may sign up by calling 252-257-4990 and to receive information about accessing books through an online resource.

Everyone who signs up for the Summer Reading Program in person or by phone will be eligible for a grand prize drawing for a telescope. Participants may register each time they visit the library or, if they are unable to travel to the library, each time they call to report the number of books they read.

The Summer Reading Program will conclude with a Closing Celebration on Friday, July 26, at noon featuring top reader awards, the grand prize drawing, door prizes and refreshments.

Throughout the Summer Reading Program, free lunches and snacks for students will be provided by Warren County Schools Mondays through Fridays at noon.

The library asks that all parents and guardians follow these safety guidelines to ensure a fun summer for everyone:

  • Children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by a responsible caregiver.
  • Children under the age of 7 should be under the supervision of a parent, legal guardian or appointed caregiver over the age of 18 at all times while visiting the library.
  • Children ages 7-11 need not be in the immediate presence of a caregiver, but one should be somewhere in the building.
  • During library-sponsored programs, the parent/caregiver must remain in the library building if given the option of leaving the programming area.


Rocket Reader Challenge

This year, the library challenges everyone, from children through adults, to read more books than they did last summer by participating in the Rocket Reader Challenge.

Children through the age of 11 will receive a certificate if they read at least 10 books. Ages 12 through adults will be awarded a certificate if they read at least five books.

Monday, July 22, is the last day to report books read.


Special programs

The library will offer Astronomical Events for Everyone, special programs that are free of charge and open to the general public. Door prizes will be presented.

On Thursday, June 27, the Imagination Station Science & History Museum will present, “Phenomenal Physics.” Learn what makes an object move by exploring force, motion and gravity through Newton’s Laws of Physics from 1-2 p.m.

Sylvan Heights Bird Park of Scotland Neck will give a presentation on Friday, July 5, from 11 a.m.-noon. The program will include live animals.

The Rags to Riches Theater Company invites audience participation as they act out stories and books on Monday, July 8, from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

On Tuesday, July 9, from 11 a.m.-noon, Celestial Crafts & Fun will allow participants to explore their creative sides by creating bookmarks and popsicle stick art. The event will include a selfie station and more.

Drummer Marcus Joyner, a Warren County native, will give a drumming workshop and performance on Friday, July 12, from noon-1 p.m.

Representatives of the N.C. Museum of National Sciences will present Meet the Animals on Tuesday, July 16, from 11 a.m.-noon. Meet a variety of animals, from the furry to the slithering, primarily found in North Carolina.

The Imagination Station Science & History Museum will return on Monday, July 22, to present Animals in Space from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Meet a tortoise and spider while learning the history of the first animals that made it to space.


Blocks Rock!

Children and adults are invited to join in the Blocks Rock! competition. Use colorful blocks to build the shapes shown on a card. Whoever finishes first wins the game. 

Cards with increasing degree of difficulty test participants’ ability to think quickly.

The library offers three-dimensional play online.



Moon Movers: Music and Movement, 11-11:30 a.m., June 25 and July 23; for ages 2-4.

Starry Story Time, 10:30-11 a.m. July 2; for ages 3-5.

Toddler Play Space, parents bringing their toddlers for playtime, 10-10:30 a.m. July 10; for ages 1-3.

Daycare Movie Day, 10-11:15 a.m. July 15, featuring “Bob the Builder: Construction Hero,” not rated, one hour, 13 minute runtime.


School-aged children

Children ages 8-12 can participate in the Red Cross Pillow Case Project on July 18 from 11 a.m.-noon to decorate a pillowcase where they can store their favorite possessions to take with them if they must leave their homes in an emergency. 

Participants also will learn about safety precautions and how to stay safe in an emergency.

The Teen Anime & Manga Book Club will gather from 10:30-11:15 a.m. on June 28. Featured will be the “Astro Boy” series, not rated, 45 minute runtime.

Cosmic Coding and Extraterrestrial Engineering will feature Turing Tumble and Blocks Rock! from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on July 1.

Teen Reading and Board Game Day from 3-4 p.m. on July 17 will feature Blocks Rock! and LEGO construction.



Adults will gather to discuss their favorite books and encourage others to read during Persuasion: Share Favorite Books from 10:30- 11 a.m. on June 26.

Tech Time will focus on Building Your Resume from 11 a.m.-noon on July 11.

“Piece” of Mind Puzzle Stations will challenge participants from 2-3:30 p.m. on July 19.

Test your knowledge of a variety of music at the Name That Tune: Listening Party from 3:30-4 p.m. on July 24.


It’s Not Rocket Science Cinema

Movies just for kids will be offered at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays throughout the Summer Reading Program. Snacks will be provided. A movie schedule is as follows:

  • June 29, “Curious George,” not rated, one hour, 48 minute runtime
  • July 6, “Peppa Pig,” not rated, one hour, five minute runtime
  • July 13, “PAW Patrol,” not rated, one hour, 35 minute runtime
  • July 20, “Elmo,” not rated, three hour, seven minute runtime


Other movies that will be featured as part of It’s Not Rocket Science Cinema include “Incredibles 2,” rated PG, one hour, 58 minute runtime, 2-4:30 p.m. on July 3; and “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” rated PG-13, two hour, 15 minute runtime, 2-4:30 p.m. July 10.

For more information about the Summer Reading Program, visit Warren County Memorial Library at 119 S. Front St., Warrenton, call 252-257-4990, visit wcmlibrary.org, or see the library’s page on Facebook and Instagram.