There are lots of great literary events for kids happening throughout the summer but one of the closest (and according to my kids the best) events may be found at your local library. At this time of the year as schools let out for summer holidays, libraries unveil and promote their summer reading programs.
Summer reading programs began in the late 1800′s as a way to encourage children to read during their summer vacation, use the library and develop the habit of reading. Numerous studies show summer reading programs help ensure children retain reading and learning skills throughout the summer. As the American Library Association says “Summer reading programs are geared for reading for the fun of it. If you can read, thank a teacher. If you love to read, thank a librarian. Libraries are in the business of creating a new generation of readers – people who are curious and love to read. Summer library programs take advantage of children’s natural curiosity to introduce new subjects and different genres – things kids might not study in school but are interested in.”
Summer reading programs may vary but there is usually some incentive for the kids to read. At our local library kids that read for 15 minutes or more, 50 days throughout the summer receive a medal. Stickers are given out for every seven days of reading and special events for children and teenagers are held at the library throughout the summer.
In our household it is a tradition that as soon as school is done we head to the library, sign up for the summer reading program and load ourselves up with a great selection of books. I hope you will make it a tradition in your home as well.