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Libraries Rock!

By Jennifer Patterson
ARL Library Director

Summer Reading programs in public libraries make a huge impact on our communities. Public libraries, through their summer reading programs, put books in the hands of children. This is the best antidote for the ‘summer slide’ in children’s reading achievement. The ‘summer slide’ refers to the fact that school summer breaks will cause the average student to lose up to one month of instruction, with disadvantaged students being disproportionately affected. Access to books and library programs over the summer results in more reading which, in turn, results in improved reading skills and counteracts the effects of the ‘summer slide’.

This year’s Summer Reading theme is ‘Libraries Rock!’ Every Summer, ARL locations provide communities across the Roanoke-Chowan area with high-quality programming and reading materials. This year they have revamped its Summer Reading program to encourage people of all ages to read.

All ARL locations will have Summer Reading Kickoff celebrations. Children will sign up for Summer Reading and set a reading goal for themselves. They will receive a reading log and stickers to place on the reading log to keep track of the time he/she has spent reading. Each sticker will represent 30 minutes of reading time. These items count towards reading time: books, eBooks, magazines, newspapers, graphic novels, comic books, and audiobooks.

The program offers several incentives along the way to help the children reach their goals. They will receive a small prize for signing up and a free book, a prize when they meet half of their goal, and a bag full of goodies when they complete their goal. Additionally, every child who completes his/her reading goal will be invited to an End of Summer celebration at his/her local library.

Summer reading is for everyone, which means adults are offered an opportunity to participate as well. Adults will receive a Summer Reading log created just for them. Adults are challenged to complete five out of the eight tasks listed on the log. The first 25 adults who sign up for Summer Reading at each ARL location will receive a free canvas bag featuring the “Libraries Rock” logo. Adults are asked to return your completed Summer Reading log to your local library by August 3.

As a larger incentive to encourage Summer Reading participants to meet their reading goals, ARL is also offering a chance to win system-wide prizes. Completing Summer Reading enters you into a drawing to win one of three Chromebooks. One winner per age group will be chosen through a random drawing: ages 5-11, 12-17, and 18 and up. Those who do not win a Chromebook will be entered into a final prize drawing to win the latest Galaxy Tab S3.

In addition to the incentives listed above, several ARL locations will offer additional free books and prizes to their local patrons. At the end of the summer, library officials will tally up all of the time the children spent reading and report it to the local communities.

ARL officials need the public’s support to make its new Summer Reading Program a success. Stop by your local library to get a schedule of events and sigh up for Summer Reading. The ARL system includes public libraries in Ahoskie, Aulander, Gatesville, Jackson, Murfreesboro, Windsor and Winton.

For more information, contact Jennifer Patterson, Library Director-Albemarle Regional Library, 303 W. Tryon Street, Winton, 252-358-7832, email: jpatterson@arlnc.org – website: http://www.arlnc.org.