QUEENS — Movies for teens, magic shows and workshops on video game design are among dozens of free educational programs planned by various branches of the Queens Public Library this summer.
A number of branches will also serve free meals for kids and teens in July and August.
This Thursday, the library will kick off a summer reading series, which, in addition to popular programs, such as Picture Book Story Time, will also offer a variety of workshops and events that seek to educate kids and teens in a fun way.
"The whole point of it is to encourage reading during the school summer vacation," said Joanne King, a spokeswoman for the library. "Every library has special activities for the children over the summer, which are usually low-pressure — it’s not like going to school, it’s intended to be fun and to encourage them to participate in library activities."
For example, children using the Whitestone branch will get to participate in a reading program called Pajama Storytime, while the Corona branch will be hosting Media Mania Lab, during which kids will learn to design video games, make animations and short videos.
Children at the East Elmhurst branch will compete in "Kids’ Jeopardy: Be a Science Star," a science tournament, and at the Bay Terrace branch kids from kindergarten through third grade will team up with kids ages 12-18 during Summer Reading Book Buddies.
The library will kick off the summer reading season on June 5, at the Central location in Jamaica with a variety of activities for kids. The free program, which starts at 12:30 p.m., will include a science program about the environment presented by Wondergy, a live concert, face painting and arts and crafts.
The library, King said, has also begun lending Google tablets at the Central location in Jamaica. Until recently, the 5,000 tablets, donated by Google in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, were available only in the Rockaways locations. The tablets, King said, will be eventually available in all Queens branches.
This summer, from June 27 to Aug. 29, nearly two dozen branches will also serve free meals for children and teens (18 and under). No application is required to receive the meals, which will be provided by the Department of Education, King said.
Among the branches which will be serving the meals, will be Astoria, Hollis, Baisley Park, Far Rockaway, Jamaica, Long Island City and Richmond Hill.
To get more information about Summer Reading, free meals and other activities at the Queens Library, go here.