This summer is chockablock full of fun programming for readers of all ages and abilities. The theme is Summer of Space – intended to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of man’s first steps on the moon – which has lent itself to a wide variety of self-directed and group programs.
The benefits of summer reading are clear: national research from the Dominican University found that students who participated in public library summer reading programs scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than those who did not participate. Likewise, parents of children enrolled in the public library summer reading program reported that their children spent more time reading over the summer, read more confidently, read more books overall, and were well prepared for school in the fall.
Young people experience learning losses when they don’t engage in educational activities during the summer. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer. Furthermore, children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning. The amount of time children spend reading outside of school is linked to gains in reading achievement.
To succeed in school and life, children and young adults need ongoing opportunities to learn and practice essential skills. Summer reading programs remind kids that reading is for fun – as well as for learning. There’s so much to see, so much to do at your library. There’s no better place to take your kids.
As such, the Colusa County Free Library has developed five summer reading programs. Due to its popularity last summer, we will be expanding the summer reading program for preschoolers, ages 0-5 to three branch locations. Little Stars will meet each Monday, from 11-11:45 AM, at the main branch in Colusa; and will be offered for the first time in Williams and Maxwell, on Thursdays, from 10-10:45 AM and noon-12:45 PM, respectively. The kids will travel through space and reach for the stars with age appropriate books and activities. This program made possible through funding from Colusa CAPC and the Colusa County Free Library Literacy Program. Registration begins May 13 and will be capped at 15 participants per branch.
Children ages 6-12 are encouraged to enroll in the Universe of Stories Summer Reading Program. Hosted at all of the seven branch locations, the participants will explore the far reaches of the universe and travel out of this world. Stories, coupled with STEAM activities will supply a universe of fun and learning. The annual SRP is sponsored by the Friends of the Colusa County Free Library. Registration begins May 13.
To encourage familiarity with the main branch and its extensive collections, we have developed a self-directed library scavenger hunt: Where in the Universe is Casey Colusa? Kids, ages 6-12 will use clues to search the library for the ever elusive Casey Colusa. Each week, new clues will be provided. Those who find Casey will be entered into a drawing for weekly prizes and a grand prize for completing all 6 weeks!
Back by popular demand, the Colusa County Free Library Literacy Program is offering a Book to Movie Club at the main branch in Colusa! Ten participants (grades 4-8) will get copies of three books to read and discuss in weekly meetings. After each title is completed, the movie adaptations will be viewed, and attendees will compare and contrast versions of the stories – that of screen vs. book. Summer 2019’s chosen tomes are “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl, “Mary Poppins Comes Back” by P.L. Travers, and the Virginia Yerxa Community Read pick of “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White. The B2MC will meet Wednesdays from 1-2 PM, June 12-July 24. The B2MC is sponsored by Premier Mushrooms, Inc. for the fourth year. Registration begins May 13.
Building on the monthly program, held throughout the school year, the main branch will once again host weekly LEGO CLUB. Drop in every Friday from 11 AM to noon to participate in group challenges, team builds, and more. No registration necessary; LEGOs provided.
In addition, we will continue to offer Cuentos, held on Wednesday from 11:15 AM to noon. On Thursday evenings, join us for Family Story Time, 6:30-7:30 PM; Spectrum Story Time, held on Monday from 1-1:45 PM; and Sensational Saturdays, held the third Saturday of each month, from 10 AM to noon, at the main branch in order to provide as many opportunities for participation as possible.
Also be on the lookout for displays and special programming that feature the summer theme for patrons of all ages. Join the us at the library for weekly crafts and a few special Self Organized Learning Experiences, adapted to take you beyond our stratosphere and into a galaxy far, far away. Updates will be featured on each library’s website and on the new monthly program calendar available at the each library’s circulation desk. You never know where a book will lead you. ■