Summer reading kicked off a few weeks ago, and July and August will be abuzz with summer readers of all ages. You may have seen the prizes you can win displayed around the library. Which one do you have your eye on?
For most of us, the last day of school before summer was golden – we were entering the season of fun. Our tired brains could take a much-needed break. Summer was a time to explore, to follow our curiosity. Even when we could forget about homework and quizzes, we never stopped learning. Every time we see something new, talk to a new person, or visit a new place, we are learning. Summer is a time for self-guided learning so stealthy we don’t even realize we are learning. We just grow.
Libraries all over promote Summer Reading and Summer Learning programs every year. We encourage minds of all ages to keep discovering – and we reward them with prizes! But the games and bingo cards and raffles we use are not homework; there is no curriculum. We want you to guide your own learning in summer. Read what you like, discover things you are curious about. Summer Reading highlights the magic of libraries. There are no assignments, no syllabi. No standardized tests or learning outcomes we try to guide you towards. We just offer as much as we possibly can, and let you wander, explore, and discover on your own.
Summer Reading programs also help with what is known as the “Summer Slide”. Also known as summer learning loss, it refers to the phenomenon when students return to school with achievement levels lower than they were before summer break. Children with learning disabilities and from under-resourced families are particularly vulnerable. Studies have shown that reading and learning new things can help slow or even prevent summer learning loss.
The library is open all year round and ready to help kids keep learning, no matter what grade or level they are at. We’ll have all kinds of fun programs for kids and adults this summer, where you can learn about Qigong, how to tie-dye, Loofah Soap Making, cooking with curry, or even compare animal skeletons!