How to Be a Summer Reading Hero
The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library is ready for you to be a Reading Hero! Strap on your capes and get ready to get swept away in worlds of adventure, heroes and villains, all with the power of your library card.[sws_pullquote_right]The best eight weeks of value-packed entertainment you can find in Madison County starts at a library near you on June 1st. [/sws_pullquote_right] Children can join our Summer Reading Club by picking up a packet at their local library, and then let the fun begin! It’s easy and best of all: FREE! With twelve locations offering programming from June 1st until July 24th, it’s the best eight weeks of value-packed entertainment you can find in Madison County. From animal programs, martial arts demonstrations and STEAM-based learning experiences, the library has something for everyone at any age!
The Summer Slide Isn’t As Fun As It Sounds
Why is Summer Reading so important to us? Besides the fact that it’s our biggest program at the library – over 28,000 children and teens participated in 2014 – it helps prevent what’s known as the Summer Slide.
There is a web resource I love, both as a librarian and as a mom. It’s Reading is Fundamental and it is just chock-full of goodness related to all that is literacy and children. A lot of parents don’t know about the summer slide. It’s what happens when young minds just idle over the summer months. You know the saying “if you don’t use it, you lose it?’ Well, it’s true!
According to the authors of a report from the National Summer Learning Association: “A conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months or roughly 22 percent of the school year… It’s common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. That month of re-teaching eliminates a month that could have been spent on teaching new information and skills.”
Scary, huh? And so frustrating. But the GOOD news is that your friendly local library is here to fight the good fight! We offer great programs that are fun, educational and FREE. We have books of all sorts – paper, electronic, and audio.[themify_quote]We encourage kids to read for fun. We encourage facilitated serendipity. Discover the stacks. Don’t worry about AR points and levels and tests! Just have fun.[/themify_quote]
And I’ll just play my rebel card here and say that we encourage kids to read for fun. We encourage facilitated serendipity. Discover the stacks. Don’t worry about AR points and levels and tests! Just have fun and read what is interesting to you! (Adults can follow this advice, too!)
The look of wonderment and relief is totally worth it, and when children come back up to the checkout desk with an armload of books, it’s awesome.
But What About Teens?
Teens can participate, too. The program is called, “Unmask!” We offer a challenge program that is both creative and fun. Teens can fill out paper entry forms in-house at a library location, or post to our Tumblr page. Some of my favorites have been making medieval armor out of recycled materials, book ”faces” and a playlist based on your favorite book.
Packets are available at all HMCPL locations, and more information is also available on the website.
Families and community involvement can help bridge the gap in the summer slide, and nothing brings a community together better than your local public library. We seek out quality community partners to offer programs in-house during the summer reading program.
Our community partners are truly wonderful, and we’re proud to welcome Alabama Youth Ballet, Alexander’s Martial Arts, Animal Tales, Rise Raptor Project, Sarrell Dental, Tennessee Valley Air Force Association, Therapy Partners, U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Waymon Krugh – Magician and Wonder Woman of North Alabama. The summer is our busiest time in Youth Services, and we owe many thanks to these intrepid folks who come in to support us and get their programs supported, too.
Summer = PARTY!
On July 18th from 12-4pm we’ll have a Superhero Sendoff at Lowe Mill to celebrate Summer Reading. Wear your costumes and win some awesome prizes, too! We’ll have games, activities, music and more! See a youth services librarian at your library for more information.
There’s so much to learn at the library. Just pick up a packet and grow your superhero powers this summer. It all starts June 1st. We look forward to seeing you this summer at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library!
Mandy Pinyan has been a passionate book lover from an early age, where being busted for bringing Stephen King to school (a book, not the guy) led to much reading by flashlight. She turned out okay. She is the Youth Services Coordinator and Manager of Outreach Services at the Huntsville Madison County Public Library Extension and Outreach Department, where she can be seen driving a Rainbow Van or a Bookmobile in between gigs. Mom to a tween, Adelyn and wife to a ruggedly handsome outdoorsman with an obsession with planting bamboo, Mandy finds enjoyment in painting, gardening and geeking out over various pop culture. A small menagerie of pets - dachshunds Matt Damon and Angel, kitty BB and Boston-Chihuahua-chupacabra mix Bailey just make the chaos complete.