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The Summer Reading Program at Crook County Library encourages people of all ages to read

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - April WitteveenEach June, public libraries across the country gear up for our busiest season. After months of preparation, libraries launch their summer reading programs.

Why do we dedicate significant resources to such a program? Studies have shown that for students, the summer months can be a time of learning loss. Without reading practice or exposure to other educational experiences, youth can lose some of the progress they made over the school year, a situation known as "the summer slide." When the new school year rolls around, these students are not primed to jump back into learning.

Enter the library's summer reading program: a free, high-value series of activities connected to maintaining (or increasing!) a student's literacy and engagement with the library. There are even prizes involved! We extend our thanks to The Friends of the Library for supporting summer reading again this year.

Our theme this summer is Color Your World; we encourage our community to use reading and learning to enhance and brighten your life. We have programs for infants and early readers, elementary-aged children, teenagers and adults (because kids shouldn't get to have all the fun.)

Read whatever you like; listening to audiobooks counts, too! Complete our challenge of reading or listening for 15 hours from June 1 to Aug. 16 goal and earn a free book as well as entry into our grand prize drawings. Kids and teens get a free book just for signing up for our program. There are also weekly prizes to keep the fun going.

The best part about the 2021 Summer Reading Program is that you can participate from home, or anywhere you have an internet connection using the Beanstack reading challenge software and mobile app. Print reading logs are also available. Visit crooklib.beanstack.org to register and come see us at the library for more information.

Sarah Klann, academic coach at Steins Pillar Elementary School, is a huge fan of the library's summer reading program.

"Speaking from the perspective of both a mother and an academic coach in our elementary schools, I can't say enough about the value of participating in our summer reading program," Klann says. "Benefits include avoiding 'summer slide,' closing achievement gaps, connecting to the community, getting a head start on activities such as Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB), and escaping into a good book! The key of course for parents is to lead by example and to make reading a routine throughout the summer," Klann recommends.

In addition to the reading challenge, the library is also hosting a variety of fun events. Our popular take-and-make activity kits return at the end of June, and we have special programs planned with OMSI, the High Desert Museum, as well as lectures and interactive online events with a great selection of local talent. We look forward to helping you Color Your World this summer.


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