Library's summer program kicks off Saturday PDF Print E-mail
Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 30 May 2013 09:52
Janet Zimmerman kicking off the Wood County Library's summer reading program. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Kids, it's not just mom and dad who want you to keep reading this summer.
It's everyone in Bowling Green, from the Woodland Mall to Wal-Mart.
Maria Simon, head of youth services at the Wood County District Public Library, said businesses and organizations have donated funding and prizes for this summer's "Dig into Reading" program. By reading books and logging their titles at the Children's Place, kids can enter to win prizes, including bicycles and books. Each child who signs up gets a free pass to the new pool at City Park, the Wood County Fair and the Bowling Green State University Ice Arena.
"It isn't just the parents and families and grandparents that want them to read, it's the whole community," Simon said.
Kids who don't read while they're off school suffer summer reading loss, Simon said.
"You do lose the level that you're at. There's definitely documentation," she said.
"Kids don't just feel like they've forgotten some of what they've learned; they actually do forget it. And the effect is cumulative. Kids who lose reading skills over the summer will be two years behind their classmates by the end of sixth grade. By joining the summer reading program, kids can prevent this 'summer slide' from happening."
Summer is also a good time for children to read what they want to read, she said.
"We really want them to make their choices. We want them to have fun."
About 1,000 children participate in the summer reading program annually. Simon said this year's progress will be tracked through a "center of the earth" chart. About 1,200 readers will be needed for the group to reach the goal, she estimated. Adults can also participate through a reading program, which tracks their minutes read and also has prizes.
Dozens of programs with a digging theme are scheduled for June and July.
"There's almost going to be not a lot of quiet time in the Children's Place," Simon said.
Every week the library will have storytimes, a reading buddy program, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) buddy program and Monday Morning Movies.
There are other special programs and guests, including ventriloquist Mark Wade, the Toledo Zoo and "S.K. Worm," a super-sized mechanical worm made by Life Formations that talks.
There will also be off-site activities at Wintergarden, City and Simpson parks, the library's Carter House and the Wood County Senior Center.
The Children's Place is ready for the hundreds of kids that will come through the door this summer.
Thanks to funding from the 2012 Leadership BG class and the Wood County District Public Library Foundation, the children's place has been remodeled. There are new comfy couches, a plasma television in the programming room and a fresh, stone look for the children's area focal point: the castle.
"The place gets a lot of love and the love has shown," Simon said. "This place really hasn't been touched in 10 years, so it really needed it, especially the upholstery."
The Children's Place - and the whole library - is celebrating its 10th year of renovation.
In honor of the anniversary, there will be a fine-free week starting June 9. This does not include lost or damaged materials.
"Volunteens" are still needed to help with the summer reading program. Children ages 11 and older can volunteer, recording titles for participants and shelving books. There will be a training session Monday from 1 to 2 p.m.
For children under age 11 who aren't old enough to be a "volunteen," but who still want to help, Simon suggested participating in the weekly Bookworm Buddies program. After a story by the librarian, children pair up with a buddy to read aloud for 30 minutes. Ben the therapy dog will also be around for most of the Thursday buddy programs this summer, Simon said.
The children's place staff starts planning for the summer reading program when the snow is flying in January, she said.
"It really is fun to have this theme and look at our collection and what speaks to the theme, and who do we have in our community who speaks to the theme."
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 May 2013 10:03

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