By Julie Pactor, Youth Services Specialist
As area schools prepare to close their doors for summer vacation, JPL once again welcomes you and your children to walk through our doors and participate in the library’s Summer Reading Program.
We know that children are looking forward to a vacation from homework, but as parents we don’t want them to take a vacation from reading. Too many children lose skills during the break, something the experts call the “summer slide.” Yet research indicates that reading as few as four to five books over the summer can help children maintain their educational footing.
To grab the reading interest of Jacksonville’s kids, JPL staff has booked top-notch performers and arranged a variety of cultural experiences. For kids12 and under, the program is called Fizz, Boom Read; for teens, Spark a Reaction.
Parents can go online to sign up their children and view the Summer Reading Program guide. Sign up forms and guides are also available at all library locations.
Here is a small sampling of the program’s kid-friendly activities:
• Weekly prizes for reading logs
• Magic science shows
• Big bang science laboratories
• Fire and ice science shows
• Murder mysteries
• Candy chemistry
All program elements focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), to provide something of interest to even the most reluctant readers. While the program and its science elements are being promoted as “Out of This World,” it was created in our library world by a consortium of all 50 states called the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP). CSLP began in 1987 and continues to provide a forum for librarians to share ideas, expertise and costs to produce a high-quality summer reading program for children.
Thanks to a generous multi-year grant from J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, and support from several major contributors, JPL is again able to participate in this top-notch program and offer Jacksonville’s children a chance to find the joy of summer reading.