We have been keeping cool at our local library.
Where else can you find fun educational activities, friends, and adventures galore?
Summer is the perfect time for kids and teenagers to delve into into new topics that interest them. Not only does the library help kids gain and maintain reading skills, it is a great resource for making reading exciting. So far, this summer, my kids explored, played, and made new friends through various programs at our local library. Even better, their love of books is being kindled through discovering new characters and places.
The Importance of Summer Reading
While I promote reading year-round, summer is an important time to keep it up. Participating in a library summer reading program can make the difference between summer setback and summer success. This leads to better academic performance when kids and teens return to school in the fall. Luckily, our local library makes summer reading fun.
If you have children enrolled in school, on one of the last days of school they probably received a summer reading assignment. The library has a wide collection of books to satisfy even the pickiest of readers.
Just because the school year is over, doesn’t mean my kids get a vacation from learning. Even our local elementary school is emphasizing the importance of summer reading through our Parents as Reading Partners Program (PARP). Along with the summer program run by the library, our PARP liaison has partnered with the Youth Services Librarian. To participate, my children are required to read or be read to for two hours a week. We track their progress on their reading logs, and visit the library with their logs when they’ve accomplished the week’s goal. Their reading time earns them a treat each week. Once they complete all six weeks they will receive a bonus prize. Plus, once they return to school, they will earn other perks, such as the ever popular, “Breakfast With The Principal.” Our library also runs a teen summer reading club for junior high and senior high students as well as an adult summer reading club too.
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My Love of Reading
I grew up with the Queensborough Hill Public Library right on my corner. Walking to the library with my grandfather was a daily occurrence. I read the books faster than they could get them in. When I was older, I would spend my entire day reading at the library. All summer long, I was the kid carrying a big stack of books up and down the block each day.
You could say that reading was a very important part of my life. I loved to get lost in a book and pretend to be someone else for a few hours. During the summer, I could devote myself to reading and re-reading all of my favorites.
Each summer our library would hold a reading challenge and each year I would win having read the most books in my age group. Every week, I happily turned in my book reviews and counted my stickers until they couldn’t fit any more on the poster next to my name. As I grew older, the librarians started organizing arts and crafts activities during the mornings. If I could have slept over at the library, I would have. It was my second home.
Nurturing A Love of Books in Your Children
- Explore the library with your child and let him choose what books he would like to read. Children tend to stay engaged on topics that interest them.
- Incorporate reading opportunities throughout the day. Point out reading materials in menus, newspapers, brochures, maps, and even street signs
- Teach by example. If your children see you reading they will read as well. Get the family to join in by reading aloud.
- Keep a variety of books in your house to nurture an atmosphere of learning and a love of reading in all family members.
Now that I have children of my own, I hope they develop the same love of reading I grew up with. My littlest ones enjoy attending Summer Storytime. Every Wednesday, my school aged kids can’t wait to go to Crafternoon. I am taking advantage of the great educational programs available to my older children and teens. In the last week, we have participated in a reptile show, a class on herbs, and a lesson on making duct tape wallets. My calendar is booked with events at the library for the next four weeks.
What programs are offered at your local library? Have you taken advantage of any this summer?