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June 7, 2011 > Celebrate cultural diversity and get reading

Celebrate cultural diversity and get reading

By Julie Grabowski

Take a trip around the world in a single afternoon courtesy of the San Leandro Main Library. The World Cultural Celebration offers a wonderful collection of multi-ethnic entertainment, activity, and food designed to appeal to all ages. The event also serves as a festive kickoff for the library's Summer Reading Program.

While a May heritage fair has been held in previous years, the Children's Summer Reading Program theme "One World, Many Stories" sparked the idea for the World Cultural Celebration. This event is the perfect lead into a summer of reading adventure, where anything and everything is possible, and lands across the globe are open for exploration.

Attendees will get swept away by exciting performances by Emeryville Taiko Drummers, Ballet Folklorico Costa de Oro, Onye, Master of African Drumming, and the Niosha Persian Dance Academy.

Magic Mike will share his delightful comedy, magic, and juggling skills, and kids can create international crafts courtesy of the Asian Community Cultural Association and the Arts Council of San Leandro. There will also be a free drawing for raffle prizes.

And if all the activity and excitement gets your stomach rumbling, a tasty variety of ethnic foods will be available for purchase.

Amid all the fun, be sure to stop by the Summer Reading Program sign-up booths where ten is the magic number.

Instill an early love of reading and enjoy special time together by signing up babies and toddlers for "Summer Reading Ride." Children will receive a free board book for listening to ten stories and be eligible for a special toddler music concert at the library as well as earn passes to places like Children's Fairyland and the Oakland Zoo.

Preschoolers through sixth grade can take part in "One World, Many Stories," where they are challenged to read ten books at their grade level and write a short report on what they have read. Prizes and admission to local attractions such as the Lawrence Hall of Science will be waiting upon completion, and those who finish all ten books will get an exclusive invite to the library's end of summer carnival on Saturday, August 13.

"You Are Here" is for grades seven through twelve. Participants earn points for each book read and written about and can redeem them at a teens only prize board. They will also be invited to an end of summer party on Friday, August 19.

But the program isn't only for kids-adults can get in on the fun and win prizes and entertainments too. The library's Adult Summer Reading Program kicks off Friday, June 17 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. with mystery authors Penny Warner and Diana Orgain. The ladies will share their new novels and a light dinner will also be provided. Event tickets are free and can be picked up at the Main Library.

The Summer Reading Program has been in place for over 20 years and gets kids engaged in reading and facilitates learning during the summer months. The program runs for ten weeks, from June 6 through August 12, and those interested can join at any library branch: Main, located at 3000 Estudillo Ave.; Manor, at 1241 Manor Blvd.; Mulford-Marina, at 13699 Aurora Dr.; and South Branch, located at 14799 E. 14th St.

The World Cultural Celebration is a great opportunity to tour the wonderful wide world in your own backyard and sign up for a summer full of reading adventure.

To learn more about the Summer Reading Program, call (510) 577-3960 or visit www.sanleandrolibrary.org.

World Cultural Celebration and Summer Reading Program Kickoff
Saturday, June 11
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
San Leandro Main Library
300 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro
(510) 577-3971
www.sanleandrolibrary.org
Free

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