Library ready for summer

AT THE LIBRARY

My least favorite library question is this: “Will the library have any activities this summer?”

I’m not really allowed to roll my eyes. It isn’t at all professional. Let me just say that the Mifflin County Library will always have activities in the summer (and all year round). But especially in the summer for the children while they are on summer school vacation.

Have you heard the quote, “summer slide?” Or “dumber in the summer?” Again, not very polite, but in some cases true. Studies indicate that children who do not read over the summer lose one grade level in education and when they return to school at the end of August, they are behind their peers who did read.

The best ways to keep your child from becoming a “rusty reader” over the summer are:

≤ Encourage your children to read books they enjoy for at least 30 minutes per day. Your child will likely be more engrossed in material they choose themselves than material that is forced on them.

≤ Provide incentives for reluctant readers. For example, if your child enjoys ice cream, agree to take them out for cones if they do their “daily reading.” Better yet, participate at the library. We have lots of incentives.

≤ Make reading a social act. Establish a time during the day when all members of the family gather and read on their own, or take turns reading the same book aloud.

≤ Connect your reading to family outings. If you take your kids camping, consider reading a book about the outdoors with them. The outing can help place the reading into a broader context.

MCL has offered a summer reading program since I was kid. Back then, we read 10 books over the summer and received a certificate at school from the librarian. I still have mine. Now, Miss Kelly offers prizes and activities and events based on annual themes. Most libraries in Pennsylvania will participate in the Libraries Rock! theme.

There will be Rock Painting and Pet Rocks Story Time with actual rocks and stones. Rockin’ and Groovin’ Story Time as well as Toddler Sing and Shake using music and dance. The children’s and adult library are decorated with juke boxes and records. The children’s room has the old 45-speed records hanging from the ceiling.

This is the story I was told:

Miss Kelly: We are hanging records from the ceiling today!

14-year-old volunteer, looking confused: Records?

Miss Kelly: Yes. It’ll look great. (Then Miss Kelly handed him the 45 on a string.)

14-year-old volunteer: Oh, records! You mean old-fashioned CDs. Do you have an old fashioned CD player too?

Come in and get a calendar of events. The children’s room is also having a Rock, Paper, Scissors competition.

The Summer Reading Program is for everyone, infants, children, teens and adults and ends the beginning of August. There’s plenty of time to participate.

≤≤≤

Susan Miriello is the acting library director at the Mifflin County Library. She is currently reading “Love Me Tender,” by Elvis Presley. This is a picture book using the lyrics of the song with colorful illustrations of parents and their lovable babies by Stephanie Graegin.

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