Unfortunately, studies indicate that children generally lose ground when not in school during the summer. This loss is most significant for high-needs youngsters.
There are many no-cost solutions to addressing this concern. Here are a few ideas:
First, allow your child to have his or her own library card. With a responsible party cardholder, any age child can present a new card at the Circulation Desk with pride and a big smile. As staff, we see their faces as they check out materials, so we can vouch that this is true.
Second, register your child for the Summer Reading Club. Infants through 5th graders receive a colorful “Dream Big…Read!” button to wear during library visits, proving that they “belong” to the Club. Children add a sticker to reading logs for each book read or listened to between June 18 and August 11 in order to earn a free book. Tweens/teens and adults also have SR Clubs and prizes.
Third, visit the library weekly to enter the title of a child’s favorite book in the prize box (limit one per week) to be eligible for toys, books, or the grand prize of a bike of choice from Wal-Mart Supercenter/Woodstock (up to $90 value). Stop in on the way to the picnic or the pool, weaving library visits into your summer lineup as a routine activity, anticipated and enjoyed.
Fourth, allow children to select a variety of books. Reluctant readers especially enjoy juvenile non-fiction as they explore the world of dinosaurs, dogs, drawing or a myriad of other subjects. No longer “assigned” certain books, children enjoy the seasonal freedom to browse more freely.
Next, participate in the performances, weekly storytimes, or summer-only activities. Kids will sing, dance, and shimmy under the limbo stick (as shown above during our kickoff “One Man Band” show). They will be enchanted by the magician, delighted by the puppeteers, and bonded with the “real” puppies during weekly Paws to Read programs. Building an ice cream sundae while meeting new friends will truly be a treat. Check www.countylib.org for programming at each library branch.
And last, read to your child of any age. Just as adults sometimes read a book passage, magazine or newspaper article to another adult, children of any age benefit from hearing and discussing what is of interest to other family members. Modeling the love of reading is a gift easily provided to your child.
Have a fantastic summer as we continue to “Dream Big…Read”!