Children can lose ground on their reading skills over the summer vacation, so the librarians with the Prince William County Public Library System have a plan to try and keep them up to speed.
“Summer reading is something we always like to encourage with kids,” said Lynn Hobbs, the youth services supervisor at Potomac Community Library. “Those who leave school and don’t pick up a book all summer tend to slide back three to four months on their reading level and go back to school reading at a lower reading level.”
This year’s animal-themed “Paws to Read” is part of the library system’s Summer Quest 2014 program and is aimed at keeping children interested in books while they’re not in school. “We find that when we encourage children to read and they read on a regular basis during the summer, they’ll at least maintain their level and sometimes their level goes up a little bit, which is always a plus when they start school in the fall.”
Tracy McPeck, a youth services librarian at Potomac Community Library, said the “Paws to Read” campaign, which begins on June 16, will compliment other summer library events. “We have a lot of programs centered on the animal theme. We have a lot of animal programs going on this summer; so we do a lot of things that tie into the “Paws for Reading.”
Parents of infants though pre-school may enroll in the program as Adventurers while Kindergartners through rising fifth graders may enroll as Explorers, Hobbs said.
“Our Adventurers, we challenge them to read 25 books; and Explorers, the older children, we challenge them to read 15 books,” Hobbs said. “As they read books and they list them in their reading log online, they will be able to pick up rewards after they finish different levels of books.”
Visiting the library can provide children with other benefits, McPeck said. “By bringing kids into the library, you’re also building social skills and you’re providing educational entertainment.”
Rising sixth through twelfth graders can enroll in the library system’s “Wild Reads” program.
Visit the Prince William County Public Library System’s website
for more information about the “Paws to Read” and “Wild Reads” programs, as well as information about other programs being offered at the libraries this summer.