JONESVILLE — The Jonesville Public Library’s summer reading program is off to a magical start as The Amazing Teacher Steve Somers gave an exciting show of tricks and jokes for the children while throwing in a few handy lessons along the way.
From making eggs disappear to a funny skit with his talking turtle Tucker, Somers always had a trick up his sleeve to keep the kids guessing what was going to happen next. But Somers wasn’t just there to crack a few jokes. As a teacher for 20 years of his life, Somers helped to encourage children to read and make wise decisions every day, from learning to pick up a bottle of water instead of that tempting soda can, to getting out during these beautiful summer months and play as well as to pick up a good book every now and then to exercise the mind.
“He was very entertaining,” said Barry Byrd, father of Halle Byrd, who enjoyed the show. “He kept their interest level up. What we like about these programs for Halle is instead of staying on the iPad or the computer all the time, she gets into books and it’s a good way for her to spend her time during the summer months. Plus, her teacher this year told all the classes to read all they could which is very helpful.”
Somers has been doing his magic performances for more than 30 years from his days in the classroom to his road trips today.
“I love to read and I actually learned to read before going to school,” said Somers. “My mother was a teacher and one of the first books I read was a book on how to do magic tricks. I got to perform my first trick in the first grade and I fell in love with performing and reading and have been doing it ever since. I started out as a teacher for 20 years and I used magic tricks in the classroom. Eventually I left teaching and I’ve been doing these shows for 10 years now. I love going around doing shows at schools during the school year and libraries during the summer. We create a brand new show every year, all on different topics to motivate and inspire kids to read. It’s very rewarding for me. I love watching the eyes of the kids light up whenever I’m on stage.”
After the show, Sarah Dehart from Yadkin Valley Head-Start and Gavin Adams, who is working to attain his Eagle Scout rank, donated books to the children and the library while also teaching them about their programs. Prizes also were given out to children participating in the summer reading program.
The Jonesville Library started its summer reading programs last week with the storyteller Mark Daniel. The library also has been holding free movie nights throughout the summer for families of all ages. Next week the library will have the Carolina Magicians coming in at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, a new group in the area.
Librarian Christi Pate is happy with how the programs have been going, especially after having to change the library’s location earlier this year.
“We were a little bit worried at first on whether we were going to receive the same traffic as we would at our old building, but it’s been a fairly good start so far,” said Pate. “We had about 40 students last Tuesday for our first event and around 20 for the Amazing Teacher show. Even with our new location, we’re still getting people dropping in for the programs and I hope that continues.”
The library was moved to 560 Winston Road due to the old building suffering from water and mold damage. Right now they are on the hunt for a permanent location for the library. Pate mentioned that they were hoping to have a building study to see what size building they would need, their possible future growth, and where their library needs to be in the near future.
“It would take a lot for us to go back to the old building now,” said Pate. “The building would probably have to be brought back up to code. For the location, yes, I would love to move back in there if it managed to get fixed back up.”
Troy Brooks can be reached at 336-258-4058.