Our beloved Huntsville-Madison County Public Library is moving forward with a summer reading program, though it will have a different format this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning June 1, parents and caregivers can pick up a summer reading activity bag through the Library’s curbside service at their local branch or they can reserve one online along with a grab bag of books.
“Summer reading is an opportunity for students to avoid the summer slide,” said Mandy Pinyan, Manager of Outreach Services. “Studies have shown that students who don’t read or read rarely during the summer experience a loss or stagnation of reading skills. That is why our program is so important.”
“Though we are disappointed about not being able to offer the many wonderful programs the Library is known for hosting, reading is still at the heart of our program and that is what is important right now,” said Pinyan.
How Does a Virtual Summer Reading Program Work?
This year, the primary focus will be on reading books, tracking progress for prizes and making crafts that go along with the summer reading theme, “Imagine Your Story.” Each week, the library will offer a free take and make craft, as well as a grab bag of books. The Library will also have weekly virtual story times and programs on its YouTube channel. Children can even craft along with the library via YouTube. Find all of those HERE.
In addition, the Library is encouraging children to submit their video book reviews for a chance to win a prize and to have their video shared on their social media and YouTube page.
Parents and caregivers may submit summer reading book trackers by scanning or snapping a picture and sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org for a prize entry. Paper entries will be accepted at your local branch. For more details on this year’s summer reading program, including required summer reading lists for your child’s school, visit hmcpl.org.
This Summer Slide is NOT Fun the Fun Kind
Studies show that lack of access to reading materials over the summer months when children are not in school can have a serious, detrimental effect on learning retention. Have you ever heard the phrase “if you don’t use it, you lose it?” Well, it’s true. For learning in particular it’s called the Summer Slide and it’s NOT the fun kind. The bad news is that this slide’s effects can be cumulative, making it harder and harder to “catch up” over the years.
Beating the Summer Reading Slump
Reading just 15-20 minutes a day can make a huge difference. Study after study shows that reading, and reading consistently, is beneficial. A child doesn’t have to be a stellar reader to begin with. As long as there is consistency, then fluency can be built upon. Read WITH your child. Here’s just a few ways to do that:
- Check out the audio book along with the print copy.
- Read the book, and then watch the movie together.
- Read the book, then visit a place mentioned or imagine what that place might look like together.
For more details about kids’ programs, including required summer reading lists for your child’s school, visit hmcpl.org/summer. You can also search for “universe” on our event calendar for specific virtual summer programs at hmcpl.org/events.
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