The Red Oak Public Library kicked off the Summer Reading Club 2007 Monday night with an appearance by Slappy and Monday, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey goodwill ambassador clowns.

Hundreds of children and their parents turned out for the event, which signals the beginning of a summer full of activities for the library.

“The turnout is so wonderful. It’s enormous and everything we planned for. We sent out over 6,000 invitations,” said Cami Loucks, director of the Red Oak Public Library. “And there’s so much more to come throughout the summer.”

Children with red clown noses posed for pictures with Slappy and Monday after their performance, then rushed to get in line for hotdogs and drinks served by volunteers from the Red Oak Lions Club.

Monday’s event included a balloon show with Mr. Jazz.

Through Monday, July 30, the library will host performances every Monday, except for Monday, July 2.

The next scheduled performance is Birds of Prey from 7-8 p.m. Monday, June 11. The library will also have a Scholastic Book Fair from noon-7 p.m. June 11 through Wednesday, June 13.

“The kids can have an opportunity to buy new books this summer,” Loucks said.

Along with the performances, the library offers children a chance to log the books they read or the amount of time a parent reads to them during the duration of the Summer Reading Club.

“Children can sign up for the Summer Reading Club and pick up their book logs and time logs,” Loucks said. “If a child reads five books or is read five books, they can turn in their log for a coupon for tickets to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus. The sooner they turn in their logs, the better the seat they can redeem their coupon for.”

The circus will be at the American Airlines Center Aug. 1-12 and at the Fort Worth Convention Center Aug. 15-19. For more information on the Reading with Ringling Bros., visit www.readingwithringling.com. Coupons are good for tickets for children ages 2-12.

Along with coupons to the circus, children participating in the Summer Reading Club are eligible for various prizes throughout the summer as well as a certificate of accomplishment at the end of the program.

“If they complete a reading log of 10 books, there are prizes available donated by the wonderful business community in Red Oak,” Loucks said. “We will have a prize at the end of July for the top readers and certificates for all those who completed their summer reading logs.”

With a great turnout for the kick-off of the Summer Reading Club, Loucks is looking forward to a summer filled with fun and educational activities for children and families in Red Oak.

“It’s going to be a wonderful summer. It’s one of the best planned events we’ve been able to have since we opened our doors in 2004,” Loucks said. “We’re a young library but we have rich resources for all.”

The library’s hours for the summer are noon-8 p.m. on Mondays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 1-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

All Summer Reading Club performances are held from 7-8 p.m. Upcoming performances are as follows:

Monday, June 18 - Puppets with Maricela and Friends Monday, June 25 - The Brett Roberts Wizard Show Monday, July 9 - Crafts with Maureen: clay molding Monday, July 16 - Stories with Lyndale the Lion Monday, July 23 - Zooniversity Monday, July 30 - A Pirate Puppet Show with Puppetwise

For more information on the Red Oak Public Library and upcoming activities, visit www.redoakpubliclibrary.org, call (469) 218-1230 or visit the library located at the Red Oak Municipal Center, 200 Lakeview Parkway.

E-mail Mandy at mandy.bourgeois@elliscountychronicle.com.