School is out and the blanket of heat and humidity is settling in for the next few months. Though the season won’t officially start for two more weeks, it is safe to say that summer is upon us. For kids, that could mean endless days of leisure by the pool side or maybe a few weeks away at camp or even an extended road trip with the grandparents. Whatever the plans are, they’ve got to be fun.
With that in mind, the Richmond Hill and Pembroke public libraries are adding their names to the list of things to do this season with their summer reading programs, complete with prizes and free performances. It looks to be just what every kid wants during summer vacation — fun.
“The point of the program is to encourage kids to read for pleasure and have fun,” Richmond Hill Public Library manager Kate Barker told Bryan County News’ Caitlyn Boza for Life on the Hill. “There’s no reading list, so they can read whatever they like. This isn’t about studying or taking tests, it’s about learning to read for their own enjoyment.”
According to the American Library Association, such programs — especially those that allow for self-selection of reading materials — offer numerous benefits to children. For starters, the ALA says studies indicate students who read recreationally outperform those who don’t, and children will read more if they can pick books based on their own interests. Not to mention that summer reading programs provide safe and constructive activities that can help kids become voluntary readers, which can help them become better students in school.
The Richmond Hill and Pembroke public libraries’ “Dream Big —Read!” summer programs kick off today with a performance by musician Annie Atkins at 10:30 a.m. at Bryan County Elementary School and at 2 p.m. at Richmond Hill United Methodist Church. And a prize booth will be at the Richmond Hill library from 3:30-4:30 p.m. today for those who have already started keeping track of their summer reads.
So before the kids go off to camp or are on the road for that extended family vacation, swing by the library to check out some fun books and get the ball of habitual reading going.
For more information about the library’s summer reading program and events, see Caitlyn Boza’s story in Life on the Hill or call the library at 756-3580.
For more information about the benefits of summer reading programs, visit the American Library Association’s website at www.ala.org.