HAMMOND | Starting in May, the children's librarians from Hammond Public Library will visit various elementary schools in Hammond, performing skits to promote the library's annual Summer Reading program.
One World, Many Stories is the theme for this year's skit. The Summer Reading Program begins June 1 and is free to anyone interested in participating. The first 50 children to sign up for the program will receive a free book.
The Hammond Public Library utilizes materials from the Collaborative Summer Library Program, a shared effort of various libraries from different regions, to provide high-quality, inexpensive reading program material for children and adults. The CSLP was founded in 1987, and the Indiana State Library funds the program for use by all public libraries in Indiana. Hammond's program is divided by age group. The Listeners program is for children who are not reading yet; this includes babies, toddlers and children with special needs. The Readers Program targets children in sixth grade and under, and the Teen program is for seventh- to 12th-graders. There is also the adult reading program.
Head of Youth Services and coordinator of the Youth Summer Reading Program at Hammond Public Library, Melody Scott, believes the Summer Reading Program is essential for students and young children.
"It is very important for students to read over the summer. It is a way to maintain their reading and comprehension levels while developing better reading habits," Scott said.
There are various incentives to complete the program. Community businesses such as McDonald's, White Castle, and KFC donate coupons as prizes for the participants. Schools in Hammond participate as well.
The library also awards medals to the students upon completion along with a recognition letter that is sent to the student's principal. This year as an incentive for the Teen Program, there will be a drawing to win a Flip camera for each participant that reads at least five books. Scott states the participation of local businesses and schools help the program tremendously.
At the end of the program, Samantha's Amazing Animals will come and bring 10 different animals from around the world to perform various tricks. This event is for all ages, and parents are strongly recommended to come with their children.
For more information about the Summer Reading Program, contact Melody Scott at (219) 931-5100 or visit the Hammond Public Library website at http://www.hammond.lib.in.us/.