Summer slide is what happens to children if they don't keep up with their reading during the summer break. The Prince William County Public Library System is offering "Explore New Worlds 2018," a summer reading program aimed at encouraging children to keep up the practice of reading while they are out of school. The program starts June 11 and runs through Aug. 11.
"If they don't keep up with their reading, they tend to lose skills over the summer. So, participating in summer reading helps beat that summer slide by encouraging them to read and making it fun," Tracy McPeck, a county librarian, said of the reading program.
Some of the fun — besides the reading, of course — will come in the form of prizes and incentives, McPeck said. Children, including infants through those entering fifth grade, can go to their library, get a "passport" and get it stamped for every visit to the library. "With a passport, they just write down what they're reading. Then when they come into the library, we stamp their passport. At two stamps, they get coupons for free food at local restaurants. At six stamps, they get a new book to keep."
Sixth graders through high school students – the young adults – will get punch cards for their reading.
"They use them to write down the books they read. Then we punch the card when they come in to tell us what they're reading. We don't require them to read a specific number of books. The punches are given for visiting the library," McPeck said.
There are also grand prize drawings for a flip laptop for the kids and an iPad for the young adults, McPeck said. "Every stamp is an entry to win. So they could get one stamp for one entry or up to nine stamps for nine entries."
There are also separate, weekly challenges for additional coupons and prizes.
The reading list is wide open. Audiobooks, eBooks, comics, graphic novels, magazines and more can be counted. Children too young to read can listen to people reading to them, and listening in on story time at the library counts, too.
Participants can pick up passports or punch cards at their local library. They must present their passports or punch cards in person at their library in order to collect prizes.
For more information about the summer reading program, visit pwcgov.org/library.