HAMMONTON - The Hammonton Branch of the Atlantic County Library System celebrated the end of its summer reading program with a carnival on Aug. 11.

The library’s annual summer reading program is for children of all ages with the goal of keeping children reading throughout the summer. This year’s theme: “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!: Exercise Your Mind, Read.” At the end of each summer reading program, the staff likes to throw a party to celebrate the success of all of the children who participated.

Vincenzo Cannatella, 8, read 31 books this summer.

“My favorite was a Goosebumps book called ‘Can’t Scare Me’ ”, said Canatella.

When trying to decide how to celebrate their summer program coming to a close, library staff member Kathy Saalman said she “thought why not make it a carnival” after realizing she had leftover decorations for the occasion. Saalman then set about decorating one of the meeting rooms at the library to look like a carnival.

To go with the theme, the staff set up several games, including a baseball tossing game and their version of miniature golf. There also was a variety of food options including hot dogs, chips, popcorn and all kinds of desserts.

“It was one of the best attended finales,” said librarian Kitty Ostrun, who along with Saalman and fellow librarian Rachel Simmons, ran the summer reading program.

Once all of the children had a chance to play some of the games and have something to eat, they were treated to a special guest. Saalman, or Miss Kathy as she is known to the children, dressed up as a clown to read a book called “Where’s Pup” by Doyle Ann Dodds.

The children excitedly filed into the children’s section of the library to greet their special guest, and most instantly recognized Saalman, exclaiming “It’s Miss Kathy!” After Saalman finished reading the short story, the children then went back to the meeting room to receive a prize for all their hard work during the summer.

For more information on events and programs at the Hammonton Branch, or any other library that is a part of the Atlantic County Library System, please visit

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