Ad Spot

Start your summer with Port Arthur library’s reading challenge. Win prizes.

Alyssa Zamora, 8, is a regular at the Port Arthur Public Library.

She’s there often and loves books about animals.

So it was no surprise to find her at the facility on the first day of the Summer Reading Challenge.

“I’ve already read all my books that I have now,” she said.

This year’s theme, Tails and Tales, is perfect for the animal lover, who was at the library with other members of her family.

Together they watched a presentation from Brittany Delagarza with the Museum of the Gulf Coast and constructed dream catchers before heading off to pick up books.

“The whole thing this morning was to start the summer off with big dreams,” Children’s Librarian Carolyn Thibodeax said Tuesday as she worked on a dream catcher with Jay Hernandez, 10, and Noeli Rodriguez, 12. Across from them, Alyssa and her mom, Araceli Zamora, made dream catchers.

From left: Jay Hernanez, 10, Port Arthur Public Library Children’s Librarian Carolyn Thibodeaux, and Noeli Rodriguez, 12, make dream catchers on the first day of the Summer Reading Challenge. (Monique Batson/The News)

It was a welcome site to a library that has suffered from back-to-back disasters.

In March 2019, the 9th Avenue facility reopened after being closed due to Hurricane Harvey damage.

It would be open less than a year before COVID-19 forced more closures.

And while last year the library hosted virtual reading programs, having hands-on learning opportunities — and fun activities — for young readers has been long missed by staff.

Week One of the Summer Reading Challenge started Tuesday, but readers up to age 17 can begin at anytime.

On June 12, Julian Franklin will be in attendance to start the Summer Reading Challenge Kick-Off with magic tricks, puppets and more.

“He’s amazing,” Carolyn said of the presentation that will begin at 11 a.m.

Additional activities include:

  • Young Audiences Arts for Learning of Southeast Texas, Tuesday, June 15, 10 a.m.
  • Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Tuesday, June 22, 10 a.m.
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife, Tuesday, June 29, 10 a.m.
  • Celebrity readers July 6, July 13, and July 20 at 10 a.m.

All activities are free to attend regardless of participation in the Summer Reading Challenge. However, those who chose to can register at the front desk and begin the five-week reading event.

Library cards are free for Port Arthur residents, but they do offer out-of-area cards for those that live elsewhere.

Challenge participants are asked to read at least 20 minutes each day, record their books in a reading journal, and add a summary of their favorite book each week.

Journals are due July 27.

In their 30th year of sponsoring, the Port Arthur Sertoma club has provided funds for weekly incentives.

The Port Arthur Public Library is located at 4615 9th Avenue in front of the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center.

For questions, call 409-985-8838, ext. 10215.

Find your fun

Mid County libraries are also offering summer reading programs.

Public libraries in Nederland and Groves are offering the Tails and Tales program, while the theme in Port Neches is “Travel with Us.”

For more information, call the Marion and Ed Hughes Public Library in Nederland at 409-722-1255, the Hebert Public Library in Port Neches at 409-722-4554 and the Groves Public Library at 409-962-6281.

Local

Port Neches mayor sounds off on refinery’s noise study; plays troubling recording

Business

ON THE MENU — Cindy & Herb Kreutzer welcome many at Sundara Coffee House

Local

Hanging death linked to suicide, police say

Columns

STEPHEN HEMELT — New fast food development working to make Nederland appearance

High School Sports

Bulldog Stadium upgrades enter Phase 2; see the plan for this summer & beyond

Local

PHOTO FEATURE — Model trains run through Port Arthur library

Local

PA man indicted for DWI with 2 young children in vehicle

Local

Nederland candidates talk drainage concerns, solutions

Local

Vote on condemned houses gets flipped

Local

Fight between 65-, 66-year olds ends in arrest

Local

RELIGION BRIEFS — Drive-thru food pantry will be open to all

High School Sports

Memorial believes offense will keep up standard in fall

Local

Nederland temporarily closes public pool due to fecal matter

Local

Area barndominium robbed of firearms, trailer & ATV. Do you know the suspects?

Lifestyle

Video, pictures & speeches from an emotional Port Arthur Juneteenth celebration

Local

10 AM FRIDAY UPDATE: Potential tropical storm path taking it farther east

Check this Out

Check out details of Nederland’s $1.3M street improvement plan, including major roads

News Main

Local leaders, Port Arthur alumni to host softball tourney to celebrate Juneteenth on Saturday

Entertainment

PHOTO GALLERY — Mischief managed at local Wizard Camp; sign-up for next week’s fun

Local

Port Arthur Police find man hanging from tree; investigating possible suicide

Groves

PHOTO FEATURE — Groves swears in new police officer

Local

PHOTO — Workforce Solutions is ready to help put YOU to work

Local

COMMUNITY BRIEFS: Model trains displayed at Port Arthur Library; blood drive nears

Columns

MONIQUE BATSON — Community theater is back, and you should be taking advantage