Sioux Center Public Library summer reading 2021

Sioux Center Public Library children’s librarians Janelle Phinney and Twila DeGroot hold up a homemade set of markers made from pool noodles. It’s one of the prizes children can win in this year’s summer reading program.

SIOUX CENTER—The Sioux Center Public Library hopes to bring a splash of extra color into children’s lives this summer through its summer reading program, which started June 1.

Under the theme of “Reading colors your world,” the reading program will continue with divisions for four age groups from June 1-Aug. 5.

People have the option to use a log sheet to record how many minutes they’ve read, with rewards given for meeting different thresholds. Alternatively, people may also use the BeanStack app.

“Children can come in and get little prizes throughout the summer, and we have grand prizes at all levels this summer that we’ll do a drawing for,” said children’s librarian Janelle Phinne. “For the adults, it’ll be gift certificates to area businesses. For the children, we have things like art kits, Legos, water guns, tickets to the zoo, to Washington Pavilion.”

The program will wrap up with a pool party at Siouxnami Waterpark in Sioux Center.

“The kids are really excited about that,” said children’s librarian Twila DeGroot. “It’s for everybody who does the minimum requirements for being in the reading program. The requirement for early readers, for example, is just eight hours of reading. As a couple of kids told me, ‘I can do that in one day.’”

There will be other opportunities for children to engage with the color theme. The library will have a color of the week, when anybody who comes in wearing that color will get a prize or treat.

Those colors will be announced through a poster at the library’s entrance as well as its website,, and Facebook page.

Parents are encouraged to check the library’s social media pages and website for more information on a number of free activities that will be held, such as a visit from the Great Plains Zoo’s ZooMobile, the magician Jeff Quinn and musician Mr. Stinky Feet.

Other special events for children include a stuffed animal sleepover and the nighttime color extravaganza.

On June 3, kids can bring their favorite stuffed animal to the library for a special evening story time and activity hour. The stuffed animals will spend the night at the library, and their owners can follow the library’s social media pages to see what the stuffed animals are up to during the sleepover.

For Nighttime Color Extravaganza on July 19, children will learn about bioluminescence, read books and do science experiments that glow in the dark.

Teens can look forward to activities of their own, including a woodworking camp, manga drawing and flower arrangements.

For the adults, there are classes for soil painting, pickleball and food preservation, to name a few.

“We’re trying to cross a broad spectrum of interests and to have people see the library as not just for checking out books,” Phinney said. “There is a lot of stuff happening here.”

In keeping with their theme of color, there will be an emphasis on art throughout the summer months.

“We’re going to be collecting large, collaborative artworks and any submissions from community members all summer long,” Phinney said. “In the month of August, we’ll have an art show here at the library. We’ll display the artwork for that month.”