SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. – Ever hear of basketball curling? How about the water balloon shot put? Frisbee discus?
If those seem like ridiculous sporting events, it’s because they are. They were part of the Lewisboro Library’s Ridiculous Olympics, which were held on the front lawn of the library Wednesday night to help kick off the Summer Reading Program for Teens.
This is the eighth summer the New York Library Association has implemented the program and this year’s theme is “Own the Night.” Each library throughout the state can incorporate the theme into its program however it would like.
With the Summer Olympics coming soon, Dolores Antonetz, the teen librarian, decided to incorporate an Olympics angle into the event, which was held in the evening hours to match the Own the Night theme. All the attendees also got to take part in a pizza party.
“Not everyone who’ll take place in the summer reading program is here tonight,” said Antonetz. “They can sign up anytime. This event was more or less to publicize the program.”
The Summer Reading Program for Teens is for kids in grades six through 12. For each book that they read, they earn points. Those points can be redeemed for prizes such as pizzas, t-shirts, towels, games, and sports memorabilia – all donated by local merchants.
Those in the program who read 10 or more books qualify for a drawing with a chance to win a Kindle Fire provided by a grant from the Dextra Baldwin McGonagle Foundation.
James Chen, 11, a student at John Jay Middle School, said he looks forward to library events like the Ridiculous Olympics.
“I’m here for the food, fun, and friends,” he said. “I like to take part in a lot of the stuff at the library. I’m always here.”
Antonetz said that while the kids come for the pizza and the games, the ultimate goal of the library is to get them to read.
“What we are trying to do is promote literacy,” she said.