Kids and parents from across the Valley came to the kickoff event for the Palisade Summer Reading program on Friday, May 30.  The program runs through July 26. Most were from Palisade, but families from Clifton, Junction, and even Fruita, were among the happy group singing, dancing and then reading. Librarian Karen Maheux greeted the 50 or more kids of all ages, babies to adults, who showed up to enjoy the musical entertainment of guest singer Will Parker.

After fun songs about books and encouragement to read, the audience streamed into the library to check out books and movies and start completing their program bingo boards (a.k.a. reading logs).

On-going events for the summer program include: storytelling hour and Knitting Club, both on Tuesdays; and kids’ movie day on Thursdays.

At the library kickoff day, one Palisade family, Lisa Scott and her children, 10-year-old Sarah and 8-year-old Joshua, came ready to get prizes and to get more books.

Sarah turned in her “first log” and won prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd level of competition. First prize was to pick something from the treasure chest; second was a new book; and 3rd was a new book bag.

Joshua loves going fishing, so he took time with the librarian to seek out certain books on fish and the sport of fishing. Lisa, the Mom, received one of the first level prizes: one free admission ticket to the Children’s Nature Center in Fruita where the family would see all types of animals, birds and salt water fish as well as fresh water fish that Joshua will enjoy seeing, but that he cannot catch on his hook and line.

Another family of readers also received a Children’s Nature Center free admission ticket. Brandy (Kent) Hillman and her youngest son Bryan came to Palisade’s reading party. “My home library is Clifton, but we missed their kickoff on the 29th,” Hillman said, “but we came here to the Palisade Library because we have joined the summer reading program every year.”

Hillman is a graduate of Palisade High School, so she knows her way around her hometown, and she invited Bryan’s best friend and his mom to the event.

“Our sons go to Clifton Elementary. Both of them love to read and try to win the prizes,” she explained.“I’m glad that my sons (Bryan and an older one) are readers.

“It wasn’t until I was in my 30s when I took up reading for pleasure. When I was in school, I was not a reader, outside the assigned class reading. “I really got into reading when my husband took the family along on his business trip. We (she and the boys) were stuck in a motel room for the entire trip. Now my nose is stuck in my Kindle whenever I have the time to read,” she said.

Now she is a life-long reader, and she admits to coming for the adult contest top prize. “Oh yeah, I need an iPad mini.” Brandy Hillman smiles and goes back to reading her Kindle.

Readers in the Mesa County Public Library system are signing up at any library and aiming for any and all prize levels, but the best prize is ability to read and enjoy books.

It is not too late. Check it out at the Palisade Library.