School may be out but that doesn’t mean kids should take a break from reading. Research indicates children who participate in a summer reading program are more likely to avoid the “summer slide” — a dip in reading skills.
“Summer reading has been a high priority for children’s librarians since Youth Services were invented,” notes Janet Wyatt, children’s department supervisor for the Memphis Public Library and Information Center (MPLIC). “Studies prove that the program helps children maintain their reading skill level and better prepares them to start the next school year.”
Summer Reading Club (SRC) at the Central Library and 19 branches runs from May 31st through July 23rd. Children who sign up and record in their reading log receive weekly incentives. They can read a book, magazine, newspaper, comics, even listen to audio books. Once they read 10 hours or listen to 10 books, they’ll receive a certificate and book prize.
Each time they complete 10 hours or 10 books, they get a chance to enter the grand prize drawing. Teens can log in 12 hours or 12 books in order to receive a book prize. For every three hours they read, they can enter for the grand prize drawing.
“This year’s theme, One World, Many Stories, places emphasis on cultural diversity, but it’s also about exploration and imagination,” adds Lillian Johnson, public relations supervisor for MPLIC. “Children are encouraged to visit far-off lands by reading books.”
The library branches have planned activities centered around the theme. Adults are welcome to sign up for the program and qualify for prizes, too.
“Summer camps are encouraged to assign a time during the day to read to their kids or allow free time for them to read silently,” mentions Wyatt. “We encourage camp leaders to participate by giving them a form to make it easier to keep records. Camp leaders come to the library to claim the group prize rather than awarding individual prizes to the children.”
For information about individual or group SRC, call 415-2739 or visit memphislibrary.org.