WASHINGTON COUNTY – The Washington County Public Library System had a ‘rocking’ time this summer during their activities programs.

There were activities for everyone - and from everyone. The library hosted playful and educational events by Dr. Magical Balloons, Tampa Taiko Japanese Drumming, and the Florida Public Archaeology Network with Underwater Archaeology.

Trips to any of the branches had kids picking out books related to this year’s theme, Libraries Rock. Thirty-six programs have been offered during the summer with 428 kids participating in learning about music history, creating instruments, and the science behind sounds.

Over 2,700 books were checked out since school let out on May 25.

Reading logs were distributed and children completed them to earn prizes from the library, helping children avoid the "summer slide." Library Director Renae Rountree said the summer slide is a challenge that every child faces during their time off from school.

"The summer slide is not playground equipment," said Rountree. "It is the drop in educational skills that result in weeks of remediation at the beginning of the school year. This takes away critical time from teachers and students who are looking to advance their education. The library seeks to help fill this gap in Washington County by providing summer programming."

The library also partnered with Feeding the Gulf Coast to help provide children with good nutrition during the summer months. The Chipley Library, the Sam Mitchell Library in Vernon, Wausau Library, and Gilmore Park served a combined total of 188 breakfasts, lunches, and snacks in a nine-week period with over 1,000 children receiving free meals.

Washington County Library wishes to send special thanks to their summer supporters, the Friends of the Washington County Public Library, Community South Credit Union, and the Chipley Kiwanis Club this year for helping fund their programming.

Partnerships are an essential part of the library’s function as a community center. This is also evident in the Museum on Mainstreet exhibit, Hometown Teams: How Sports Shaped America, that will be opening on October 1, at the Chipley Library.

The Washington County Library in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and the Florida Humanities Council is excited to bring a slice of Americana to Washington County, Rountree said.