Summer learning loss has been well documented.  Children can lose up to 2-3 months of skills they have learned in the previous school year, with math, spelling and reading the most vulnerable. Fortunately, parents have a great ally to help stem that loss: your public library!   One of the major missions of the library is to provide both the environment and the resources to keep kids reading, especially over the summer.  This is why our flagship summer reading games are so important:  it offers kids and parents a fun incentive to keep kids turning those pages.

The game empowers kids to make their own reading choices while the library provides incentives (aka prizes) to make it fun. Every summer the game has a theme—this year the theme is Make a Splash—READ.  Kids pick up a game board and for every 30 minutes they read, they will get to spin a dial that tells them how many spaces they can move forward on the path to prizes.

We are fortunate to have many wonderful partners who make our reading programs special. Prizes are a mix of “stuff” and free experiences; the first prize for kids includes passes to the Lawrence Hall of Science, Chabot Space and Science Museum and the Charles Schulz Museum.  The final grand prize includes a book bag and the child’s choice of a FREE book.  These are brand new books, not used, purchased with funds that have been supplied by the Dublin Friends of the Library.

In order to provide the environment that entices children and families to the library, we offer free summer programs every week.  Wednesday is program day, with the following programs still to come:

June 30th – make a patriotic craft!  Create a 4th of July themed door hanger

July 7 – Author, Oliver Chin introduces his cartoon characters the Octanauts and shares some cartooning tips

July 14 – Crafts with Christie

July 21 – Magic Dan

July 28 – Make a turtle craft and vote for your favorite bookmark entries in the contest

August 4 – Puppet Art Theater

All programs are at 1:00 with a repeat performance at 2:00 (craft programs repeat at 2:30). Free tickets are required and are handed out starting at 12:30 pm in front of the library on the day of the program.

My favorite image for this summer happened on the very first day we started taking signups for the reading game—this was a girl of about 11 or 12 walking around the library her arms loaded with books.  Suddenly a memory flashed in my mind of what it was like to have long (endless!) summer days with nothing to do but lose yourself in a book.  Ah, heaven!