School is out, and summer reading programs are beginning across the west end of Umatilla County. All programs are open to all children in the area and are free of charge.

Echo

Echo kicked off its summer reading program June 5 at Echo City Hall.

This year’s theme is “Dream Big: Read” for children 12-under and “Own the Night” for teens. Participants can sign up any time, and story/craft time programs will be offered every Friday at 11 a.m.

The program will end on July 19 with a closing party. Awards will be presented at that time.

Echo will also offer two special events this summer to coincide with the reading program: the Oregon Shadow Theater will perform at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at the Masonic Lodge, and Corbin Maxey, the Reptile Man, will be at Echo City Hall at 2 p.m. July 23.

Students can earn points for awards by tracking books read over the summer. Al participants who register before June 15 will receive a book, and every participant who turns in a reading list will receive at least one book, if not other prizes.

Stanfield

The Stanfield Public Library kicked off its summer reading program Tuesday with a show featuring Ronald McDonald. The program will run for six weeks and end with another show by the clown on July 17.

In between, the library will host three special events, the first of which — “Bugs!” — begins at 10 a.m. Friday.

The library will also host a “musical slumber party” with The Groove Club, a musical performance group out of Nashville. That dance extravaganza begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 20.

“This is something we’re really excited about because it’s something the kids have never seen before,” Library Director Cecili Longhorn said of The Groove Club.

The Stanfield Library will also feature award-winning storyteller Christopher Leebrick at 2 p.m. July 17. Leebrick’s performance is called “The Bigger you Dream, the Farther you go” and will feature “tales of adventure, daring deeds, heroes and heroines.”

Stanfield has different activities and programs available for teens — seventh- through 12th-grade — school-age children and preschool children.

Schedules are available at the library.

Students receive participation points for attending events and reading during the summer.

“Our goal is to encourage kids to keep reading during the summer,” Longhorn said.  “We encourage them to read and to dream about all the things they can do.”

Registration is free and available at the Stanfield Public Library. For more information, call 541-449-1254.

Umatilla

At the Umatilla Public Library, the summer reading program runs from July 5-27 and includes programs for preschool, grade school, middle school and high school children.

“For the older kids, they get points for how much they read, and for the little ones, their parents can read to them,” Librarian Kellie Lamoreaux.

Hermiston

The Hermiston Public Library will wrap up this year’s summer reading program with the latest children’s program.

Hermiston’s children’s summer reading program will run July 8 through the second week of August.

The late program is a change this year to allow library staff to host programs for childrens, teens and adults.

“Because we have constraints on our hours, to try and have them all happen at once is chaos and really stretches the staff,” library director Marie Baldo said.

Special events this year will include a movie night, a late-night scavenger hunt and a “What’s Odd About the Library” event, as well as hosting story tellers and a reptile presentation.

All participants who register for Hermiston’s program will receive a schedule of events and information packet.

Hermiston is also hosting a contest to tell the story of the library’s new mural this summer, and the library also offers adult and teen summer reading programs.

The adult program began Monday, and the teen program runs June 18-July 27. The teen program will include movie and craft nights and will end with a “zombie murder mystery party.” In addition to other volunteers, the library is looking for volunteer zombies for that program.

“We are looking for people to volunteer with all the summer reading programs,” Baldo said. “If they can do that, then they can come in and get an application from (volunteer coordinator) Sue Folsom or any of the staff. They can help with registration, they can come in and do things like help us make popcorn on movie day, help us handle the snake maybe or even play the part of a zombie.”

For more information, call the Hermiston Public Library at 541-567-2882 or stop by 235 E. Gladys Ave.

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