WINSTON — Dragons stood on the counters at the Winston Library and Joe Ross told children at the summer reading kickoff event a story about the majestic creature.

Ross also played instruments and sang songs for the small crowd in attendance.

This year’s theme for summer reading is “Imagine Your Story” with a focus on fairy tales, mythology, folklore and fantasy.

Library Director Rebecca Rard said all reading is encouraged, but many of the weekly activities will center around imagination.

“I want to borrow a new book,” Clayton Powell, 5, said when asked about his favorite part of coming to the library.

Campbell Rard, 4, who’s mother is the library director, spends a lot of time at the library and said her favorite thing is the books.

Ross got the celebration started by singing “If you’re happy and you know it” and followed it up by reading a story in the Japanese kamishibai style, where a picture was shown in a frame to make the story come to life.

“He’s really great to work with and the kids seem to enjoy it,” Rebecca Rard said. “Usually it’s a little more hands-on, but we’re doing our best to follow guidelines.”

Bob’s Looney Balloons twisted some balloon swords ahead of the scheduled event but didn’t stick around for the event due to the pandemic.

Those are just some of the ways that COVID-19 has impacted the program, but the books will be sanitized and masks encouraged to make sure readers of all ages stay safe.

The library is hosting crafts days, science exploration, artists, the Winston Police Department and a magician at 1 p.m. every Thursday until Aug. 13.

Children received a reading log, which they will fill out to earn prizes.

Rard said last year children logged more than 500 hours.

“Imagine Your Story” is a nationwide summer reading program that many of the county’s libraries are participating in. Check your local library for upcoming activities.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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