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"Granny" of Skin & Bones Comedy Circus Circus prepares dogs for a trick.

There was clowning around Monday at the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex gym where Mamie’s Place Children’s Library kicked off its summer reading program.

Clown duo Skin & Bones and Gutsy the Flying Fox performed in front of children.

“We always have a big kickoff to start our summer reading programs to get the kids motivated to read for fun during the summer,” Adelia M. Russell Library director Amy Huff said. 

This year’s theme for the program is “A Universe of Stories.” Huff said the program helps keep children’s minds fresh when school begins.

“We try to make it so that it’s something they enjoy doing, so we try to get them knowledge and information discovering different adventures through fun activities,” Huff said.

While Huff is unsure of the exact number of children registered for the program, she said about 200 have signed up. Registration continues through Friday.

Parents can have children sign up for the program by going to the library, where children can also set up their reading goals.

“They can read books from home,” Huff said, “they can read books from another library, they can read e-books. So all the books count toward their reading goal.”

The summer reading program runs through July 25 and children are given incentives such as free backpacks for hitting their reading goals, according to Huff.

“We have a lot of neat incentives that we distribute to them when we have the finale,” Huff said.

Parents can pick up a calendar of events and programs for children at the library. 

Mamie’s Place Children’s Library is located at 284 Church St. and is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.