Central Elementary School hosts a community library day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday during the summer with an event or craft at 10 a.m.

“It’s a shame to lock up a library all summer long,” district librarian Donna Cook said. “All this stuff just sits here, begging for readers.”

The library tries to bring in things to engage the students every Wednesday at 10 a.m. This week, members of the softball and cross country teams came out to host a clinic for the students.

“I think this shows them a little bit about getting out and mingling with the younger students,” coach Kurtis Acosta said. “Community outreach is also part of our mandates we have for our kids. They’re required to have at least two hours of community service every month.”

He said the team loves the experience of being the “big dogs.”

Acosta and the team members worked with students on throwing and form using squishy balls that the team uses indoors when it rains.

“This is the grip,” Acosta said as he and a team member demonstrated. “It’s the first part. If you’re going to throw the ball, you’re going to have to have a good grip.”

The second part was the direction players stand when they throw the ball. Acosta told the students to “square up” to their partner — face their body and point their feet toward their partner — before they threw the ball.

“It feels funny to throw a ball in the library,” 7-year-old Brynlee Stanberry said. “It’s usually quiet.”

Then he told the students to rear their balls back and keep them facing outward. He told the right-handed players to turn their left shoulder toward their partner as they threw and vice versa for the left-handed players. Finally, the students were able to release the ball with a “snap.”

“I enjoy the pitching,” 12-year-old Kyle Acosta said. “You throw the ball at the batter, and it feels great.”

“I liked it when they threw it and I caught it,” 6-year-old Vivie Hart said. “I’ve already started playing softball, and I wanna keep playing.”

Julie Steveson attended the community library event with her 7-year-old granddaughter Makenzie. Julie said they love to come out and get a head start on reading for the next school year.

“We always go out and do something special afterward,” Julie said.

“My favorite thing is about the interesting books and what they have in them,” Makenzie said.

Central ISD has been hosting the summer community library for over 20 years. Cook said she is so happy administrators were willing to make it happen and that the community was willing to support it.

From the seven weeks the program has been running, nearly 1,000 people have come through, and over 1,700 books have been checked out since June 1.

The library will host two more community library events this summer on July 24 and July 31.

Grace Juarez’s email address is grace.juarez@lufkindailynews.com.