By Cathy Chesher /
The Summer Reading Program has begun! Every year the Adrian Public Library as well as the other county public libraries offer summer reading programs for kids, teens and adults.
This summer the library celebrates summer reading AND explores the wonderful world of science with the kids’ theme of “Fizz! Boom! READ!” the Teen Read theme of “Spark a Reaction” and the adults’ theme, “Literary Elements.”
Kids, teens and adults sign up for their respective programs at the library, read books and earn incentives and chances to win some cool prizes. A variety of science-related activities are planned including “Kitchen Science” and “Grossology 101” for kids; “Candy Science” for teens and “Cold Case Forensics” for adults. Check the library’s website for a complete list of activities.
New this year: we will be holding a summer reading kick-off open house event on Thursday, June 12 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Anessa Nelson, a Project Lead the Way teacher from Adrian, will be setting up Family Engineering Activities. We’ll have a science-related craft, bubbles outside, and an “Elephant’s Toothpaste” demonstration by Laura Polchinski, substitute teacher and former Adrian College chemistry show coordinator. At 7 p.m. we will do a Diet Coke/Mentos demonstration made famous on various YouTube videos. And of course, readers of all ages can sign up for the summer reading program.
Summer Reading is Important
Why do public libraries hold summer reading programs, beside the fact that they are great fun? Summer reading is important. We might intuitively know this but it bears pointing out why. Lots of smart folks have studied reading and being read to. The 1985 report Becoming a Nation of Readers stated, “The single most important activity for building knowledge for their eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”
And in the 1998 report Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children, the first key identified practice calls for “adult-child shared book reading times that involve talking about the book and other topics.”
The folks at RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) have put together a great “Reading Aloud with Children of All Ages” pamphlet.
And what about the children who can already read? You may have heard of the “summer slide.” It describes what happens when children’s minds are idle for three months. Most students, even those ‘at-risk,’ make decent progress during the school year. It is during the summer when they fall behind. A National Summer Learning Association report says “a conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months…. It’s common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer.” Experts agree that children who read over the summer gain reading skills while those who do not often slide backwards.
RIF also has some excellent articles on motivating kids to reading including:
Reading in the summer is important, but it should also be fun. The library’s summer reading program is designed to motivate kids to read and parents to read to their children and to have fun doing it. Your public library has lots of great books to share with your children, knowledgeable librarians to help you, and lots of fun summer activities.
So, what are you waiting for? Fizz! Boom! READ!
Cathy Chesher is originally from the Chicago area and moved here after marrying Steve, an Adrian native, 32 years (!) ago. They have two adult children, Michael and Amanda (who Cathy is happy to say love to read). When she is not working, reading or playing with her iPad, Cathy tends to her perennial garden, does yoga and other exercise, cooks, and enjoys travel. Cathy says she has the best job in Lenawee County! “There are many things I like and love about being a children’s librarian, but nurturing and supporting the love of reading is at the top of the list. In my mind, there is no such thing as a child who doesn’t like to read; just one who hasn’t found the right book yet.”by