By Melissa Chapman
The school year is almost done and summer is just around the corner. A part of having a great summer is to get some sun, have some fun and read!
Research shows we are inclined to learn more slowly in the summer. Some students actually go into reverse and lose most of the reading skills they gained during the school year. Children who do not read over the summer lose much of what they’ve learned during the school year. This is called the “summer slide.” Children who read during the summer actually improve their reading ability.
Public libraries realized early on that children need their minds stimulated during summer break. Beginning in the 1890s, summer reading programs were developed as a way to encourage schoolchildren, particularly those in urban areas to read during their summer vacation, use the library and develop the love of reading.
For over a century, libraries have worked hard to help youngsters learn and enrich their academic performance. Those who join summer reading programs at their local library can use countless reading materials, access information online and engage in related educational and social programs.
The summer reading programs have become a permanent staple in public libraries. Librarians, through their SRPs, put books in the hands of kids. This is the best cure for the “summer slide” in youths’ reading success. These programs encourage reading to become a lifelong habit as well as provide an opportunity for family time.
While most public libraries design summer reading programs around K-12 students, adults can benefit from summer reading programs as well.
The Warsaw Community Public Library’s summer reading program runs from June 1 to July 31. The theme for 2019 is “A Universe of Stories.” This coincides with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
Events and programs for the teens and adults include making galaxy tie-dyed shirts, cracked marble jewelry, Hypertufa pots as well as a Sweet Annie’s basket-making class. There will also be an adult and teen escape room in July.
Events and programs for the kids include stories in the park, kids’ yoga and a moon landing celebration. You won’t want to miss The Curiosity Dome on June 10, which will have a 20-minute program about the wonders of space.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up for the summer reading program and avoid the “summer slide.”