Your Library Connection: Choose to Win with the Library this Summer!
Summer, summer, summer…I feel as if the word is being chanted across our community. Maybe it is just in my brain with my daughters talking about it constantly, the weather warming up, and preparations for the summer reading program being the current focus at the library. This year there will be programs for babies, children, teens, and adults. The programs are free, creating a win-win situation for you!
There are programs for babies, teens, and adults…not just children. The library is offering a brand new program for babies from 0-23 months! Many of us grow up equating the summer reading program with kids, so it is hard to get the word out that the summer reading program is not just for kids! I want to emphasize that there are programs for adults and teens as well…no excuses! Read 20-25 minutes a day, which you probably already do, and receive incentives and chances for some great prizes. What do you have to lose?
Children have a lot to lose. A scientific study shows that some children lose three months of learning during the summer months. A professor from Johns Hopkins, Karl Alexander, has devoted much of his life to studying this problem. His summation is that much of the achievement gap is traced back to kids’ learning during the summer. Learning opportunities need to be explored and reading must continue during the summer months so children do not lose ground. We have a free program for the child in your life; make sure he or she takes advantage of it!
What about babies…what do they have to lose? An infant’s experience and interaction with books, stories, and people (especially with the adults in their lives) are the basis for reading, writing, and speaking. Play, read, rhyme, sing, and talk with your baby, helping him or her develop these skills while earning incentives through the summer reading program. Get more ideas when you attend Rhyme Time on Thursday mornings with your baby!
If you participated in the summer reading program last year and filled out a survey, you will be glad to hear that your feedback was not ignored. In order to improve the program this year, we are offering registration at the library and online www.independence.lib.ia.us. The sign up time is longer and will go from June 3 to June 29. The time allowed to complete the program has also been extended through August 3.
Another change due to your comments…there are more offerings for upper elementary students and tweens this summer. Please pay close attention to the summer calendar (you will receive one in your Independence Summer Reading Booklet when you register at the library) or you can download and print the calendar from the website. Pay close attention to the age group to which each activity is open for tweens and teens. For example, there will be Cars and Coasters (3-6 grades), Geocaching (6-12 graders), and Art Classes (4-6 graders), among other opportunities.
The last big change this year is our summer reading booklet. This will help people to keep the calendars and information about what is going on at the library in one place. Previously we offered information for each age group, but had not consolidated it into one easy-to-navigate booklet. One per family, please. If you register online, ask for one when you pick up your reading log.
In a nutshell, reading is vital and creates the foundation for further learning and development throughout life. We hope you further yourself by taking advantage of the various programs and reading with all the offerings this summer. This would also have been the wish of the summer reading program’s biggest donor. The Viola McMorris Memorial Summer Reading Program Endowment has provided the finances which enable the library to offer much more to our children and teens during the summer months. The programs are free and are available to those with or without library cards. The chant should be “win, win, win” with the library reading program this summer…take advantage of the opportunities!