Summer Reading Programs kickoff
Reading during the summer months is beneficial for children to help hinder summer learning loss and may be garnering more interest this year with more at home activities for kids.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — When school ends for the year- it’s not that time to take a break from learning.
Summer reading programs are helping to fill the gap of summer learning loss by offering fun ways for children of all ages to keep their brain stimulated.
Sunni Toczek, Family Support Specialist at Early Childhood Connections, says, “Those early experiences are really what is important to learning and really getting their brains to develop and retain that learning too, so they don’t loose it just because they are not in a typical or traditional learning setting.”
Sunni says that reading to children from birth to 5 years old is a foundation of learning and helps with language development.
The summer reading programs will be mostly the same this summer, just with no public events but rather curbside and drive through options. Reading materials can be books downloaded to physical books to reading news articles. You typically don’t even need to have a library card to participate.
The Rapid City Public Library will host their program again for 50 days where participants log 15 minutes of reading a day and receive prizes and books throughout the program and can get qualified to win big prizes at the end of the summer. The program is for anyone even adults can join in the fun and includes any form of literacy including audio books.
Laurinda Tapper, Public Relations Coordinator with RCPL, says, “This is just to motivate and support them in the process and you know libraries have been doing this for years and years and it’s a nationwide endeavor. And it’s just our part in literacy during the summer.”
The Piedmont Valley Library is also cultivating a lifelong love of learning by promoting literacy and making it easy for participants to dive into the summer reading plan.
Megan Eggers, Library Director of the Piedmont Valley Library, says, “Since everybody is kind of stuck at home there aren’t as many things to do, so it’s a nice way to get people reading and thinking and imagining in a way that they might not.”
The Piedmont Valley Library is using an app to make the process even more user friendly. The State Library has purchased a subscription to the popular ReadSquared App that all of the libraries in the state can customize and provide to their patrons for tracking reading during contests and programs.
Overdrive (and the new option Libby) is another app that allows patrons to access ebook and eAudiobook content that the library – or in this case the Black Hills Library Consortium, has purchased for patron use. Anyone who has a card in good standing can access the content, which can be checked out.
Reading can also be considered a good stress reliever or hobby – a way to keep the brain active and imaginative.
Eggers says, “Reading is valuable as itself, in it’s own right, to sit down with the intention to look out through the eyes of someone else, to see the world in a whole new light – that is valuable no matter what you are doing.”
The kick off to Summer Reading in Rapid City and Piedmont is June 1. You are encouraged to contact your nearest library for other programs starting this summer. Many libraries are also offering virtual story times with themed crafts as well.
Piedmont Valley Library storytime is on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. with a craft to follow. Go to the Piedmont Valley Library Facebook page to follow.