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Whitehead library open Thursdays this summer

Alex Bergeson has read “Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods” twice, and he’s working on his third. The book is 300-plus pages, but the 9-year-old likes to read and especially likes Greek mythology. His grandfather calls him a bibliophile – a great lover of books.

And now Alex has a great place to go on Thursdays – the Whitehead Elementary School library, which is open from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. as a check-in point for the Rockford Public Library’s Summer Reading Club.

On a rainy Thursday, Principal Pam Miner and library paraprofessional Sara Jones greeted Alex and other visitors to the Whitehead library. It was Mrs. Miner’s dream to open the school library over the summer, and Mrs. Jones — a 2015 Those Who Excel winner — was glad to volunteer to help.

Ashton, Jadyn and Payton Masbruch (from left) visited the Whitehead Elementary School library Thursday, June 25.

Ashton, Jadyn and Payton Masbruch (from left) visited the Whitehead Elementary School library Thursday, June 25. The children’s mother, Laura Masbruch, is in the background.

When Rockford Public Library staff members heard about the plan to keep a Rockford Public Schools  library open during the summer, they brainstormed how to help. They came up with designating Whitehead as an official check-in point for “Read to the Rhythm,” the library’s summer reading club.

As part of the partnership, the Rockford Public Library provides registration materials and incentive prizes to the school library. The goal is to read 15 books; children can also receive prizes for each five books they read. If they reach their goal, they receive a free book and a ticket to Magic Waters.

Alex Bergeson picked a “Mystery Bag” as his prize last week, and it turned out to be a ticket for a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. Other prizes are from Jason’s Deli, Dandy Donuts, Jersey Mike’s, Culver’s and Chuck E. Cheese.

Laura Masbruch’s son Ashton received a stuffed animal – a mini tie-dyed dolphin — as his prize. Ashton, who’s going into the first grade at Whitehead, can’t learn enough about animals, his mom said. Daughter Jadyn, who will be a third grader at Whitehead, loves chapter books about fairies. Meanwhile, Mrs. Masbruch’s preschooler Payton fixated on the candy that Principal Miner put in a Mason jar for a weekly contest. Visitors to the library who correctly guess how many pieces are in the jar win the candy and another prize. (This week’s lucky number was 44.)

There were other benefits. Mrs. Miner led Owen Bergeson – younger brother of bibliophile Alex – on a mini-tour to see where Owen would attend kindergarten at Whitehead. Every principal knows: When it comes to kindergartners, some mysteries are better revealed.

Mary Kaull is communications coordinator for the Rockford Public Schools. Click here to subscribe to this blog. Also, please like RPS 205 on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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