Library’s summer reading is for all ages

The Idyllwild Library officially launches its Summer Reading Program for all ages with a dynamic kick-off on Saturday, June 2, featuring kid-friendly festivities and a showcase by Pacific Animal Productions.

This summer’s “Reading Takes You Everywhere” theme represents book selections from Japan, Mexico, Australia, Israel, USA, Italy, the Netherlands and more. Country-specific crafts will accompany each Monday’s story-time for kids and each Wednesday, country-specific cooking classes will be offered.

“There are many more special programs from across the world featuring in this summer’s reading program. All are designed to provide kids with a robust and inspiring summer program, so keep an eye out for updates,” said Branch Manager Shannon Ng.

The Summer Reading Program serves all ages.

Preschoolers 5 years and younger can learn from the parent reads program. The kids’ program serves the 6- to 11-year-old set, the teen program enlightens the 12- to 17-year-old virtual traveler and the adult program targets everyone 18 and older, providing inquisitive and ESL adults with a unique window into world literature.

Here’s the best part — generous prizes, including earning badges, abound in this program for each participating child. Virtual raffle tickets are issued for each book read with weekly drawings of amazing prizes, like robots, giant stuffed animals, and laptop desks for kids and teens. Equally amazing adult gifts can be won as well.

Special gifts will be awarded for those accomplishing the five-book challenge, “all together, providing powerful motivators designed to keep readers engaged and excited about reading,” said Ng.

How does summer reading for school-age kids counter the dreaded “Summer Slide?” “In her landmark study of public library summer reading programs, Barbara Heyns found that children who read at least six books during the summer retain or improve their reading skills, while children who didn’t read any books saw their reading skills decline by as much as one grade level,” reports the California Library Association. The White House reports that “reading just five books over the summer prevents learning loss.”

This multi-faceted program also engages readers exclusively online or at the library at any point between June 1 and July 31. Registration begins online May 29 or at the library and each Monday beginning June 4 parents may register their kids.

“Everything done by our Summer Reading Program is paid for by Friends of the Idyllwild Library,” Ng said. “While we appreciate the stipend received each summer from Riverside County, it’s the funds raised by the Friends and our wonderful volunteers which make this program full featured, stimulating and fun for all involved.”