As schools begin to creep up to the finish line, children are starting to grow eager for summertime. For all the parents who are stressing about what activities will keep their children both busy and happy during those unbearably hot months; have no fear because Ironwood Library is here.

Ahwatukee Foothills' Ironwood Library, 4333 E. Chandler Blvd., continually offers programs for children of all ages.

"Not only do we have activities accessible to children and families year-round, but we have special opportunities that are specifically offered during the summer," branch manager Alice Houlihan said.

Some of the activities offered all year are babytime for walkers, babytime for crawlers and family storytime.

"Since these programs are very popular and there are a limited number of free tickets available at the information desk, it is important to arrive 30 minutes prior to the reading," Houlihan said.

From May 31 through July 30 there is a summer reading program that children can participate in. Each child will be given a chart in which they can record the number of minutes they read each day. The kids will have the chance to win various prizes depending on the number of minutes they read. By providing prizes, Ironwood's goal is to help encourage children to read and stimulate their mental activity as an alternative to just simply sitting at home being "bored."

Each week throughout the summer reading program there will be a different guest who will appear on Wednesdays from 2 to 3 p.m. In the past, Ironwood has been privileged to have had an array of special guests who have ranged one making fun balloon animals for the children to a guest who brought in reptiles and shared interesting facts about them.

"We encourage all children to get involved and enjoy the programs that we offer here at Ironwood Library while they are on summer break," Houlihan added.

To find out more information about the various programs offered at Ironwood, call (602) 262-4636 or visit phoenixpubliclibrary.org.

• Kimberly Haug is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a senior at Arizona State University.

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