Newton, NC – This month, the Catawba County Library kicks off its annual Summer Learning celebration! Boasting a double focus of reading rigor and hands-on learning opportunities, the program seeks to bridge academic years with events designed to help students of all ages maintain skills throughout the summer.

Studies show that kids can lose a substantial amount of the gains they achieve during the school year if they don’t regularly put their critical thinking abilities to the test. The library takes an active role in ensuring that children and teens stay engaged during the summer months so that they can pick up where they left off when the new school year begins.

The tagline for this summer’s programs is Libraries Rock, and the scheduled opportunities will touch on variations of that theme, featuring music, geology, motion, rhythm, sound, and nature. Programs are tailored to people of all ages, including teens and adults. Each of the library’s seven branches will offer a mix of activities, including storytimes and STEAM events, and all seven locations will present performances by the Schiele Museum, the Green Bean Players (the Green Room Community Theatre’s touring group), the Hickory Music Factory, and folk musician, singer, and storyteller Jon Sundell. These activities are generously supported by the Friends of the Library.

Prizes are also available, both for folks who register to participate and for those who complete 600 minutes of reading during the course of the summer. Winners will be awarded movie prize baskets or tickets to attractions like the Biltmore House, Tweetsie Railroad, the North Carolina Zoo, and the Western North Carolina Nature Center.

Lunch at the Library will be provided again this summer, free of charge to teens and children 18 and younger. Lunch locations will include the library’s branches in Claremont (Tue-Fri), Maiden (Wed-Fri), and St. Stephens (Wed-Fri), all serving from noon till 2pm. There is no qualification to receive lunch, and you do not have to be a resident of Catawba County to be included.

Registration for Summer Learning programs for children, teens, and adults is currently underway. Most activities are slated to begin the week of June 11 and will run through early August. Anyone interested is encouraged to register online or at a local library branch: Newton, Claremont, Conover, Maiden, Sherrills Ford-Terrell, Southwest (Mountain View), and St. Stephens. To learn more, please visit, call 828.465.8664, or email [email protected].

For more information about library activities, please contact the Catawba County Library at 828.465.8664, at [email protected], or via Facebook. For the latest in library news, visit, or stop by your local branch.

Photo: A Schiele Museum employee shows off one of her lizard visitors.