The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

State & National News

July 6, 2013

Digging and Diving With Summer Reading At Your Local Library

Saturday, July 6, 2013 — RALEIGH -- Tens of thousands of students and many parents will participate in the Summer Reading Program at their local public library this year. The 2013 theme is "Underground," with "Dig into Reading" for the early years, and "Beneath the Surface" for teens. Even adults can join in with the theme "Groundbreaking Reads." Families are finding fun and recreation at the local library.


The Underground theme provides a framework for exploration of a variety of topics. Youngsters exploring "Dig into Reading" might study gardening and vegetables, big machines and construction, underground tunnels or buried treasure. Teenagers studying "Beneath the Surface" might examine the Hobbits, worm farms, an archaeology dig, mermaids or sharks. The "Groundbreaking Reads" theme topics for adults are directed by each library.


The State Library of North Carolina sponsors the statewide program at state-aid eligible libraries with allocations from the legislature. The goals are to motivate families and children to read for pleasure, to help school-aged youth maintain reading skills through the summer, establish the library as a vital part of the community and encourage collaboration and partnerships with local schools.


In addition to sharing books on the theme, many libraries invite presenters to give programs on the topics or offer craft making and other hands-on activities. Testimonials from past Summer Reading sessions show that the program is a success:


"We had five major performers every Friday morning in June and July.  The performers did a wonderful job and attendance was off the charts."

"We saw participants grow over the summer in reading and social skills.  With high gas prices, we saw entire families coming to the library for reading and free programs."

"This year we noticed that some families made summer reading a priority by having kids compete against older siblings and parents."

"The grandmother of one little boy told me that she thought he wasn't paying attention during the programs, but that day when he used the bathroom, he was in such a rush to get back, he was pulling his pants up in the hallway."


Each library crafts the Summer Reading program for that community. Most programs start a few weeks after school closes and last four to six weeks. The program enables children to improve academic skills during summer months and is particularly beneficial to low income students to combat summer learning loss.


Parents report that students feel part of something special at the Summer Reading programs. Participation in 2011 was 163,726, and was 178,774 in 2012. In each year more than six million books were read. The State Library is part of the Collaborative Summer Reading Programs, a national cooperative which provides high quality materials and support to member libraries.


For more information on the Summer Reading Program, please call (919) 807-7425. The State Library is a division of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

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