Pequot Library Summer Reading Program
720 Pequot Ave.
Southport, CT 06890
Reading may be its own reward, but getting a few little prizes for spending time with books does go a long way to encourage new readers to keep reading. At the Pequot Library, Children’s Librarian Susan Ei gives out stickers not for the number of books read but for the time spent reading. Children can redeem those stickers for prizes, and earn raffle tickets for even better rewards. The library starts a reading record for each child who joins the program, and in addition to keeping track of their progress in the traditional manner, also lets them choose a cardboard character to place on the library reading clothesline. For every hour a child spends reading, they can move their character along to another marker on the line. That visual reading race is just one of the games that help make summer reading even more fun for kids.
Youth Enrichment at Stepping Stones
Stepping Stones Museum for Children
303 West Ave.
Norwalk, CT 06850
Children who enter the Youth Enrichment program at Stepping Stones emerge as leaders, both among their peers and in the community. The annual program provides opportunities for students in grades six through 12 to create and staff new events and workshops for other children who visit the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk. Participants have organized and run comic book conventions and pet days, craft fairs and cultural exchange programs and many other events that make good use of the museum’s exhibits, facilities and resources, including the art studio and science lab. This summer there is even a “rocket science” program. Participants with a particular talent, unique cultural background or special skill set are especially encouraged to share their gifts with museum visitors.
Bird Exploration at Connecticut Audubon
Connecticut Audubon Center at Fairfield
2325 Burr St.
Fairfield, CT 06824
Through the summer months, children ages 10 through 14 can come to the Connecticut Audubon Center in Fairfield to explore nature and especially the nature of Connecticut’s bird population. The exploration includes both outdoor activities in the nearby nature preserve and swamp, as well as indoor experiments at the center’s new Junior Science Lab. Other programs are held at the Birdcraft Museum nearby at 314 Unquowa Road. The center also sponsors an eight-week summer camp for children ages four to 14, as well as other special events. The Connecticut Audubon Society also sponsors other summer camps in Pomfret and Glastonbury.
Nature Discovery Summer Camp at Earthplace
10 Woodside Lane
Westport, CT 06880
The Nature Discovery Center at Earthplace in Westport offers nine one-week summer camps, each based on a particular theme, such as space, insects, dinosaurs or pets. Activities vary with each theme, but each camp is an adventure, and includes a lot of time exploring the center’s 74-acre wildlife sanctuary. Becky Neman and Amee Borys have a smart, experienced staff that knows how to entertain as well as educate campers. There are half-day and all-day camps for pre-schoolers, as well as all-day camps for children up through eighth grade. In addition, an overnight camping and canoe trip is available for those who become “Trekkers.”
Theater Summer Camp at Crystal Theatre
12 June Ave.
Norwalk, CT 06850
Children love the theater and the Crystal Theatre loves children. This summer, the renowned children’s theater will offer many different musical theater summer camps for children ages preschool through college students. The camps vary in length and theme, from the whimsical “Thumbelina” and “Puss in Boots” to the more serious “Improv and Acting Workshop.” Young and first-time campers are exposed to the basics while having fun, and Broadway professionals and other instructors help more experienced students hone their acting, singing and dancing skills. Each camp includes at least one performance by the children, usually at the Ben Franklin Theatre in Norwalk.
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