Travel to a mysterious land, sail with pirates or ride a dinosaur? These exciting summer adventures and more await readers with the University Park Public Library’s summer reading program, “UP with Reading.”
This year’s hot air balloon themed program kicked off Saturday, June 8 at the Fishing Derby, held at Caruth Park. “UP with Reading” encourages children to read throughout the summer months and promotes reading, imagination and a little friendly competition.
The UP Library summer reading program will award prizes for various reading levels. At the 10-hour level, readers will receive a sign for their front yard declaring, “A UP Reader lives here.” At higher levels, like the 75-hour achievement, readers will receive a special book.
Sharon Martin, Director for the University Park Public Library, says summer reading is not only fun, but essential to preventing what is known as “the summer slide.”
“If a child doesn’t read during the summer, it sets back their learning curve by 2-3 months,” says Martin. “If a child never read in the summer, by the end of the 6th grade they would be behind two years in reading level.”
While there are no suggested reading lists for the program, the library coordinates with local schools to ensure required reading books are available for check out.
“We want the reading to be fun for the kids and for them to read what they’re interested in,” says Martin. “That could be anything from a graphic novel to a heavy classic.”
“UP with Reading” runs through July 31 and features a special program each week. The library will host an entertainer Wednesdays at 2 pm. Children will be able to post their summer reading progress and enjoy entertainment from puppet shows, story tellers and even live animals, courtesy of “the creature teacher.”
“The summer reading program is designed to make reading fun, to keep kids reading so we can avoid that summer slide and help them be far more successful students when they go back in the fall,” says Martin.
Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is a sponsor of “UP with Reading.”