Gulf County’s public libraries are preparing to host a series of ocean-themed summer events for local children, kicking off this Tuesday, June 7.
The program, which features events for children ages 2 to 5 and 6 to 12 free of cost, aims to help prevent the “summer slide” by providing a variety of engaging, educational programs that encourage discovery.
Most of the events coincide with the Northwest regional Libraries’ summer reading theme – “Oceans of Possibility.”
All events are free of cost. The Gulf County libraries request that children ages 6 and under are accompanied by an adult.
At the Charles Whitehead Public Library in Wewahitchka, the following events will be offered:
- Artificial Reefs, Learn about what goes on around an artificial reef. Program presented by the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association.
- Friday, June 10 at 2 p.m. CDT, for children ages 7 to 11.
- Exploring Sea Shells, Explore all the fun ways you can learn about sea shells.
- Tuesday, June 17 at 10 a.m. CDT, for children ages 6 and under.
- Shorebirds, Shorebirds are a big part of our beaches’ ecosystem. Learn about the birds and make a fun craft.
- Friday, June 17 at 2 p.m. CDT, for children ages 7 to 11.
- Arctic Fun, Brr! It’s cold in the North Pole. Rescue our friends from the frozen waters of the Arctic Ocean.
- Tuesday, June 21 at 10 a.m. CDT, for children ages 6 and under.
- Octopus, Learn about a bizarre cephalopod, the octopus, at the library’s last summer program. They will celebrate with crafts, goodies and prizes.
- Friday, June 24 at 2 p.m. CDT, for children ages 7 to 11.
- Treasures of the Sea Celebration Party, Calling all pirates and mermaids. Enjoy the treasures of reading. Meet a real mermaid and pirate. Bring a camera to have your picture taken.
- Tuesday, June 28 at 10 a.m. CDT, featuring special guests: a mermaid and a pirate.
At the Corinne Costin Gibson Memorial Public Library in Port St. Joe, the following events will be offered:
- Red Fish, Blue Fish, Join the library for songs, stories and movement, and create a watercolor fish to take home.
- Thursday, June 9 at 2 p.m. EDT, for children ages 2 to 5.
- An Ocean of Wonders, Learn about coral reefs, the wondrous life forms that call the reef home and explore local artificial reefs with a presentation from the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association. Create your own coral reef diorama.
- Tuesday, June 14 at 2 p.m. EDT, for children ages 6 to 12.
- Fish Tales, Join the library for songs, stories and movement, and create your own fish print to take home.
- Thursday, June 16 at 11 a.m. EDT, for children ages 2 to 5.
- Gulf Specimen Marine Lab, Get up close and personal with sea life from the Gulf of Mexico at a special visit from the Mobile Marine Lab. Touch a starfish or visit an octopus in an aquarium.
- Friday, June 17 at 11 a.m. and at 3 p.m. EDT, for all ages.
- Our Blue Planet, Journey into the abyss to discover the deepest part of our water-y world and learn about ocean zones and creatures of the deep, dark blue.
- Tuesday, June 21 at 2 p.m. EDT, for children ages 6 to 12.
- (Baby) Shark Week, Join the library for songs, stories and movement. Create an ocean scene using ink pads and sea life stampers.
- Thursday, June 23 at 11 a.m. EDT, for children ages 2 to 5.
- Explore New Depths, Many mythical creatures call the ocean home, and a very special one will be here for the library’s summer’s eng get together. Join the library for stories, a special snack and a chance to meet a mermaid.
- Tuesday, June 28 at 2 p.m. EDT, for children ages 6 to 12.
- I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean, Join the library for songs, stories and movement, and create watercolor art using sea salt and liquid watercolors.
- Thursday, June 30 at 11 a.m. EDT, for children ages 2 to 5.
Both libraries are also hosting art contests for children ages 3 to 17 (grouped by age) through the month of June. Create a work of art that represents this year’s summer reading program, “Oceans of Possibility,” and submit it to either Gulf County library before June 30.
The art must be no larger than 8 by 10 inches.
The winner of each category will receive $25.
For more information, visit www.nwrls.com.