Women’s Club donation supports library’s summer reading program

By on September 27, 2017

Manheim library director Melissa Foltz (right) shows Kathy Bower of the Women’s Club of Manheim the button maker that was purchased using funds donated by the women’s club. Foltz is wearing two of the buttons she created with the button maker.

Manheim Community Library’s summer reading program is now one for the books. It kicked off with a Steven Courtney concert on June 14.

“The summer reading program is one of the most popular programs we offer,” said library director Melissa Foltz.”The library was able to visit all of the elementary schools in the district in May, and I think that gave us a boost. We not only provide activities, but we encourage kids to read-it’s one way to stop the ‘summer slide’ (the tendency for children to forget what they learned the last school year).”

At Manheim library, the summer reading program isn’t just for kids; there’s one for adults, too.

“Adults serve as reading role models for every child. Our Summer Reading Program is for all ages so your entire family can participate,” Foltz explained.

The theme for this year’s adult summer reading program was “I Spy.” The challenge to adults was to read three books over the summer. Those who completed the challenge received a small prize and were entered to win a gift basket filled with items from local businesses.

The variety of activities for the children’s program included themed and family storytimes, reading with therapy dogs, a program on alternative energy, Summer Block Parties with weekly building themes, a STEM-focused program that involved building a LEGO catapult, and a visit with Jesse Rothacker of Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary. It ended with an ice cream party attended by nearly 70 children and adults. Volunteers from Manheim Cub Scout Pack 47 scooped ice cream and helped kids create their special treats.

This year, 973 children and 193 adults participated in the summer reading program. Preliminary figures from this year’s program indicate that 639 children completed the program, and with about a week before end of the adult program, preliminary figures indicate that 55 completed the program.

Women’s Club of Manheim grant chair Kathy Bower (right) presents the grant to Manheim library director Melissa Foltz. Funds were used for the library’s summer reading program.


A $1,000 donation from the Women’s Club of Manheim provided funding for both the summer reading program’s activities for children and adults. Foltz said while most of the funding was used for activities, a portion was used to purchase a button maker and supplies. It was used by the program’s take-home activity for June, which was designated as Make Your Own Button Month. The design template was included in the Summer Reading book bag.

“It was neat to see all the creative designs that kids came up with,” Foltz said.

Organized in 1937, the Women’s Club of Manheim is an organization of Manheim Women committed to friendship, community service and civic responsibility. The organization began a grant program in 2012; grants of up to $1,000 are awarded to nonprofit organizations that serve Manheim and the Manheim community. Grant chairperson Kathy Bower said WCM awarded $1,200 in grants in 2015, $4,550 in 2016 and $3,000 this year.

Other grants awarded this year include $500 to Aaron’s Acres, $400 to the All Pro Dads program at Doe Run Elementary School, $250 each to the All Pro Dads program at H.C. Burgard Elementary School and the Manheim Central K-6 Run for Fitness, and $200 each to the Manheim Historical Society, Manheim Central High School Post Prom, and the H.C. Burgard and Stiegel Color Run.

Funds are raised for the grant program through several WCM activities including the organization’s food stand at the Manheim Community Farm Show, an auction in November, and cookie sale and holiday home tour in December.

“Originally we awarded grants in the spring and fall, but most of our funds are raised in the fall. This year, we changed the grant program, and now we only award grants in the spring,” Bower explained.

Grant applications for 2018 will be available in January, and can be found on the WCM Facebook page. They may also be requested by email at wcgrants@gmail.com or by calling Kathy Bower at 717-665-9141.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

Volunteers from the Cub Scout Pack scoop ice cream during the ice cream party that served as the finale for the Manheim library’s summer reading program.

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