By Jan Pease
This year marks my 25th summer reading program. I remember some of the themes, but I would find it difficult to remember each one. One of my favorites was “Library Kids Lead the Way,” during the time we were planning the new building. We drew gigantic characters on huge pieces of paper that were hung up high on the north wall. I used to spend hours and hours enlarging pictures for decorations and cutting things out. Now I tend to find an easier way: precut paper products and bulletin board kits.
Something that hasn’t changed is our commitment as a library to encourage young people to become lifetime learners. The program we’re using this year, “Read for the Win,” is provided by iREAD, which stands for Illinois Reading Enrichment and Development. Thanks to the Illinois Library Association, for the following information.
”iREAD stands for Illinois Reading Enrichment and Development and is an annual project of the Illinois Library Association. The Illinois Library Association provides leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services in Illinois and for the library community in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. The goal of this reading program is to instill the enjoyment of reading and to promote reading as a lifelong pastime. The benefits of summer reading are clear. National research from Dominican University finds that students who participate in public library summer reading programs scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than those who did not participate.
Young people experience learning losses when they don’t engage in educational
activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer. Libraries are part of the solution. To succeed in school and life, children and young adults need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills. Summer reading programs remind kids that reading is for fun—as well as for learning.”
Please consider stopping by the library a regular part of your summer routine. Encourage your children and grandchildren to participate in Summer Reading. Read to your children and have your children read to you. Sing, laugh, play, and talk. Enjoy these fleeting days of summer!