Durham’s summer reading progrm a magnet for children

The Durham Library summer reading program attracts a large number of children in the small rural community north of Hillsboro.

“It varies, but there have been as many as 18 children here,” said librarian Mary Helen Becker.

The program, in its sixth year, offers reading and arts-and-crafts projects for children in third through sixth grades.

“Some bring little ones, but I don’t object,” Becker said, hugging a two-year old as she ran by to watch a video on the last day of the summer program.

The seven-week sessions began June 5, and children gathered once a week from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the library.

Becker said she works with the younger children, and Valeria Hamm works with the oldest in the program.

On the last session day, July 18, children were gathered in the Durham Community Center building to watch a video of Australia before going to a picnic at Durham City Park.

Becker’s picnic menu included hot dogs, potato chips, baked beans, lemonade and brownies for about 16 children who gathered for the last day.

Before the picnic, Dave Schneider, of Lincolnville, brought his Australia video and told the children about his visits to the country down under-where his brother lives.

“He’s been there at least four times, and he plans to go back real soon,” Becker said.

She said she likes to invite guest speakers, like Schneider, who have traveled to different countries and are willing to share their experiences.

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