Mayor Kennedy rewards students with a cold treat

Mayor Judith Kennedy talks to Jackson Gatlin, Lynn, who did the library’s summer reading program for the first time this summer. “Loved it” he said. Shannon Murphy, the Mayor’s executive assistant in middle. The event was at Lynn City Hall. (Paula Muller)

LYNN — Time’s running out for Lynn’s students to finish their summer reading requirements. Maybe a dish of ice cream would help.

Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy seems to think so anyway.

On Tuesday, the mayor used a cold dish of ice cream on a hot summer day as an incentive for students to keep up with their summer reading.

Kennedy extended her greetings to each summer reading participant who crowded into City Hall with words of encouragement.

“This year was the highest turnout we’ve had,” she said. One of the first things Kennedy did when she became the mayor was restart the summer reading program in 2010, and, according to her, the number of students has risen every year.

The faces of the students, grades 1 through 5, lit up as they walked in and saw not only an ice cream social, but a celebratory party complete with balloon animals and face-painting. Fourth-grader Queen Simmons of Tracy Elementary School couldn’t contain her excitement.

“I’m happy that I get to read the Harry Potter books, which are my favorite,” she said. “I think it’s so cool I get to eat ice cream just for reading.” This was Queen’s second year being a part of the summer reading program and, according to her, she will be back again next year.

Sue Cronin has been the librarian at the Lynn Public Library for the past 17 years and said she has given out a record number of library cards to students since the summer reading incentive began again.

“This is the busiest the library has been in 17 years,” she said. “What more could a librarian ask for?”


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