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  • New library director dreams up programs

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    New library director dreams up programs

    By JULIE CHURCH

    © St. Petersburg Times,
    published June 3, 2001


    Manny Leite started working as the director of the East Lake Community Library three weeks ago, but he has already developed some new program ideas for the 2-year-old facility.

    Leite, 28, pointed to the success of a recent teen coffee house as an example of different ways the library can use programming to reach people who might not typically consider visiting the facility.

    "A coffee house can bring people in to see how awesome this library is," he said.

    One of the first events Leite would like to hold for young people is a Murder Mystery Party. He organized a similar event at the Land O'Lakes Library and said the teens involved really enjoyed the experience.

    "It can really spark some interest in murder mystery books, which can lead to an interest in other genres," Leite said.

    He would also like to start a Saturday morning coffee house with refreshments and musical entertainment for adults.

    Leite's interest in the library goes back to when he was a child in Massachusetts and his parents took him to the library frequently.

    "I would go to the card catalog and start at A and read every children's book from A to Z," he said.

    He attended the University of Massachusetts and got a job at the university library as a way to meet people.

    "Something about it really fascinated me," Leite said. "I guess I knew deep inside that I really wanted to work in a library."

    After receiving a master's degree in library science from the University of Rhode Island, Leite moved to Tampa in 1999 and started working at the Land O'Lakes Public Library.

    Leite and his wife, Alison, have an 8-month-old son, Holden.

    "Named after Holden Caulfield," the protagonist in J.D. Salinger's book Catcher in the Rye, Leite said.

    When he is not working, Leite said he is an avid comic book reader and loves to dance. He also loves the movies and has a large collection at home.

    Another one of Leite's goals is to start a video and DVD collection at the library. East Lake patrons can reserve videos and DVDs from other libraries, but there is not a collection at the local facility.

    Leite says the people of East Lake have been wonderful to him since he came on board, and he looks forward to getting to know the area and the people better.

    'Problem solver' is top student for May

    Allyson Bowers of Cypress Woods Elementary School has been named Oldsmar/East Lake Rotary Student of the Month for May.

    Allyson, 9, is a student in Tammi Light's fourth-grade class. "She is a creative problem solver who initiates many classroom activities," Light said of Allyson on her nomination form. "She helps others to succeed by modeling good study habits and presenting a positive attitude."

    When she is not in school, Allyson enjoys swimming and playing the piano. She is the daughter of Craig and Carol Bowers of Tarpon Woods.

    Jamboree Bible school begins next week

    Son Creek Jamboree will be the theme of Vacation Bible School at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, 1555 Windmill Pointe Road, from 9 a.m. to noon June 11-15.

    The program is for children age 4 through those who have completed fifth grade. The cost is $20. To register, call (727) 785-1117.

    YMCA offers variety of themed camps

    The YMCA of North Pinellas is offering several summer camps for children.

    Tennis camp begins June 18 for children ages 5 to 15 at East Lake High School, 1300 Silver Eagle Drive. Camp will be held Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon. Fees vary.

    Drama, music and art camp for children in first through sixth grades will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 18-29 at Safety Harbor Elementary School, 535 5th Ave. N.

    The theme for the camp will be "Let Us Entertain You," and will include a variety show featuring singing, dancing, comedy, skits and a puppet show.

    The cost is $200 for the two-week program, and space is limited.

    Slamma Jamma Co-Ed Basketball Camp offers one-week sessions beginning June 11 and June 18 at East Lake High School. The camps, which run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., are for children ages 8 to 15. The cost is $125 for YMCA members and $135 for non-members.

    To register, call (727) 772-9622.

    Church holds summer music camp

    George Young Memorial United Methodist Church, 2801 East Lake Road, will hold a music camp from 9 a.m. to noon June 11-15 for children entering first through sixth grades.

    Campers will learn about music and acting throughout the week and will perform a show at the church services on June 17.

    The camp is open to the public and the cost is $30. Call Sue Musco at (727) 784-9250.

    - If you have news or photos about East Lake schools, churches, businesses, neighborhood groups, community organizations or people, contact Julie Church at the North Pinellas Times. You can call her at (727) 445-4229, fax material to her at (727) 445-4206 or mail material to North Pinellas Times, 34342 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor, FL 34684.

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