Many libraries in the Northwest Indiana region host summer reading programs and they aren’t just great ways to keep kids coming to the library. According to the School Library Journal, “students who take part in their local library’s summer reading program significantly improve their reading skills. In fact, we found that summer reading programs are an antidote for learning loss. Instead of losing knowledge and skills during the summer months, kids who attend reading programs actually show gains.”
Parent and Language Arts teacher, Erin Charpentier agreed that there are many benefits to summer reading programs.
“They make reading fun. With their initiatives and themes, the library becomes an even more exciting place to visit," Charpentier said. "From a teacher standpoint, it keeps kids reading throughout the summer and working their brains. I see that benefit as a parent, too. Plus, I think it encourages reading as a habit. Instead of just reading during the school year because you have to meet a goal or because your teacher has assigned a story, kids keep reading over the summer.”
Charpentier’s sons have participated in Porter County Library’s summer reading programs for two years and are looking forward to doing so again this summer. Luke Charpentier, seven years old, said his favorite parts of last year’s program were "reading books, especially finding new books with funny parts in them like Geronimo Stilton, and seeing his friends from school at the library.”
Most libraries kick off their summer reading programs in early June, so stop by your local branch to get details soon.
The Lake County Library system is running their summer reading program from June 9 – Aug. 2. Roddretta Waxton, Head of Children’s Services at the Lake County Public Library said they are all excited about the variety of events and programs happening this year.
“Exploding Art; Splish, Splash Science; H2O-Ology...this summer is all about science and other fun activities at the library," Waxton said. "During this year's Summer Reading Program children will enjoy hands-on science experiences at the Challenger Learning Center event and learn about constellations while gazing at the stars inside the Starlab Portable Planetarium. Classes and events are created to excite children and thereby promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.” The Lake County Library’s programs are for all ages. A Lake County Public card is required to register for individual programs. Learn more at lcplin.org and click on events.
Every branch of the Porter County Library will be getting in on the summer reading fun as well with a program that runs from June 2 – July 12. More than just reading – branches will be doing lots of fun science programs: Mad Scientist, hands-on science demos, story times, movies and more.
Their program is also open to all ages and includes normal printed books that you read, audiobooks that you listen to, or ebooks. All must come from the library to count towards your reading total. Learn more on the Porter County Library website: pcpls.org/ by clicking on the Fizz, Boom, Read program.
Community libraries get in on the fun, too.
County branches don’t get to have all the fun – community libraries offer their own programs all year round as well. For example, Crown Point Community Library is expecting 1,200 students from preschool thru 12th grade to participate in this summer’s reading program. The free Summer Reading Club is open to all ages, preschool through adult, and will run from June 9 to July 25. Crown Point is following the same science-learning theme as Lake County and Porter County libraries. Their “Fizz, Boom, Read” kickoff party is scheduled for June 17 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Crown Point Library. It will be a day of fun science experiments, tasty treats, crafts and more. The event is free and open to all registered participants. Laura Clemons, Communications Specialist at the Crown Point Community Library notes, “The Summer Reading Club is a staple at the Crown Point Community Library. Over the years the program has expanded from simply keeping kids reading during the summer months to fostering a love of life-long learning for all ages.”
When school lets out, be sure to head to your local library and register for the summer reading program. You just might discover a great new community resource and start taking advantage of the fantastic programs your library offers all year round.