The annual Storytime in the Gardens program will crack open the books for its fall season beginning next month.

WHAT: The annual Storytime in the Gardens

WHEN: Tuesday at 4 p.m.

WHERE: Hopelands Gardens, 135 Dupree Place

COST: Free

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call 803-643-4661 or 803-642-7631.

The free program begins Sept. 2 at 4 p.m. and will be held every Tuesday through Oct. 28.

Along with an adult, children ages 8 and under are invited to sit at the sand patio by the fountains in Hopelands Gardens to listen as children’s books are read by local area seniors. Participants are asked to bring a blanket or chair to sit on, and snacks are always welcome.

Storytime in the Gardens had more than 1,400 participants last year, according to Lisa Hall, supervisor of both Hopelands Gardens and the Rye Patch.

The books chosen usually follow a theme, celebrating specific holidays or other days with unique distinction.

Books to be read this fall include “Spot Bakes a Cake” by Eric Hill, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates - Treasure of the Tides” by the Disney Book Ground and “Kiss Good Night” by Anita Jeram. Other books include “Will I Have a Friend?” by Miriam Cohen, “Splat the Cat and the Pumpkin-Picking Plan” by Rob Scotton and “What If Everybody Did That?” by Ellen Javernick.

Families also have the opportunity to take home one copy of one of the books read to the participants for free after each story program.

Sponsors are still needed this fall, according to Hall. The cost is $175 per reading, and covers the cost of the books to be given away. Those interested in sponsoring a reading or who are interested in being a volunteer reader can call 803-642-7650.

In case of inclement weather, Storytime in the Gardens will be moved into the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center, located at 1700 Whiskey Road. For inclement weather information, call 803-643-4661.

Hopelands Gardens is located at 135 Dupree Place

For more information, call 803-642-7631.

Maayan Schechter is the local government reporter for the Aiken Standard.