The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

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.

About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDCR's mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state's history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.

Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state's communities. NCDCR's Divisions of Archives and Records, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina's rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR's State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for the blind and physically handicapped.

NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state's creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit