Sanda Cartagena took a group of 21 elementary school-aged children around the world recently as part of a summer reading program at the Urbana Regional Library.
Called "Away we go," the travel-themed program taught the children about other countries and about exploring the world. The children, who sat on the floor in front of Cartagena, a library associate, learned more about countries around the globe by playing a guessing game that began with her offering the children clues.
"This is the most visited country in the world," Cartagena began. "School children start school at 8 a.m. and they don't finish until 4 p.m. It is the largest country in western Europe. They have a grand slam tennis tournament and a bicycle race there."
It was the bicycle race that tipped off 8-year-old Bailey Planz, who correctly guessed the country was France.
Planz comes to the library with her family once or twice a week.
"It's more than just books," Planz said as she decorated a tile with Mod Podge and magazine clippings at the event.
This year's summer reading theme is "Reading Takes You Places" and the children got to escape with Cartagena at the program.
"It's raining today, so we had to cancel the hot air balloon ride," she joked with the kids. "No, there was no hot air balloon ride."
Tate Ladson participated in the event and is also doing the summer reading program. The 11-year-old from Urbana has gotten all four stamps on his summer reading paper.
"It's a wide selection of books and you can get which one you like," he said about why he likes the library.
Sometimes he does get sick of reading, but not often, he said.