Old Bridge, NJ – June 13, 2017 — The Old Bridge Public Library’s annual summer reading program begins on Saturday, June 24th with crafts and activities for all ages from 11-3pm. With the theme of “Build a Better World,” this year’s program will focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities.

Participants can sign up for the summer program during the kick-off event and will learn how to win prizes. By following action boxes on a game board, kids and adults can receive raffle tickets to be entered into weekly prize drawings.  Tickets can be earned by reading, attending Library programs and playing outside, among other activities. At the conclusion of the program on August 19th, several Sphero robots will be raffled off to winning participants, courtesy of a community grant from Walmart located at 2825 NJ-18 in Old Bridge.

Among the day’s highlights will be an appearance by the popular ScienceTellers and their “Tall Ships and Pirate Tales” event at 11am. ScienceTellers entertains and educates children and their families with positive and exciting educational science programs using interactive experiments to bring the sights and sounds of original stories to life. This one-hour session will demonstrate how people build on water as well as land. Attendees will set sail on an action-packed adventure about a crew of quirky pirates marooned on a deserted island. Throughout the story, volunteers from the audience will help explore the science behind clouds, flash paper, air pressure, inertia, explosions and more. Space is limited, so patrons are encouraged to arrive early.  A prize will be raffled off, donated by JEI Learning of Old Bridge, and all attendees will be treated to ice cream after the program courtesy of Friendly’s Restaurant of Old Bridge located on Rte 9.   

In addition to the ScienceTellers, the Library will host a “Build a Cardboard Town” program from 12:30-2pm. Patrons will work together to construct a cardboard town of Old Bridge using Library supplies and participants’ creativity.  There will also be a 1pm robotics presentation, featuring demonstrations of Sphero, Finch and Code-A-Pillar robots.                                                                          

The Department of Community Health Education at Robert Wood Johnson will also be on hand to provide health screenings during the kick-off celebration.  Each participant will be given a three-part Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke Risk Screening Form to complete, which will include glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure levels.  Licensed Lab Technicians will conduct finger-stick assessments and the results of the Glucose and Cholesterol values will be noted on the screening form.  Attendees will then be directed to the Blood Pressure Screening and Lifestyle Assessment Education table staffed by a licensed nurse who will do Blood Pressure tests. The nurse will review the screening results with each person and provide relevant information about healthier lifestyles and behaviors.

“Summer reading kick-off is always a wonderful event, allowing many residents to take advantage of the Library as a vital community resource, and acknowledging the importance of a structured summer reading program” noted Library Director Nancy Cohen.  “There is much evidence about the benefits of summer reading, and how it can make the difference between a child reading at grade level or falling behind over the break. We’ve developed an engaging summer program that allows children to enhance and grow stronger reading and critical thinking skills.”

Further details and activities are still being developed and updated schedules will be available on the Library’s web site: www.oldbridgelibrary.org.

The Old Bridge Public Library was recently voted one of the three Best Public Libraries in Middlesex County by the readers of the Home News Tribune. The Library is open seven-days-a-week and is located at 1 Old Bridge Plaza at the corner of Rt. 516 and Cottrell Road in the Municipal Center. More information about this and other Library programs can be found at www.oldbridgelibrary.org or by calling 732-721-5600 x5033. The satellite Laurence Harbor branch is located at 277 Shoreland Circle; phone: 732-566-2227.

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