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Both libraries are aiming to reach more than 1,000 young readers through summer reading programs

STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Summer reading programs at the public libraries in Cornelius and Forest Grove launch June 1.Public libraries in Forest Grove and Cornelius are both aiming to reach more than 1,000 young readers through summer reading programs designed to keep kids learning while school is out.

"The library is a community resource that is available for kids. If they're curious, if they need recreational resources, if they love manga or some type of book or craft, we exist to satisfy those curiosities," Cornelius outreach and publicity librarian David Freas said. "Kids can discover things and learn things and valuing that is something the library is here to reflect."

For 2022, the summer reading theme across Washington County libraries, "Beyond the Beaten Path," celebrates outdoors and adventure. Both the Forest Grove and Cornelius libraries, which also serve as air-conditioned cooling centers during heat waves, are providing their programs in English and Spanish.

The programs in Forest Grove and Cornelius both kick off June 1 and last through August.

Participants receive free books and a reading log as well as prize drawings for students and adults.

Forest Grove, which has averaged a little over 1,000 kids in its summer reading program in recent years, is continuing its virtual "Story Time in the Grove" on its Facebook page every Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Cornelius, which is offering chances at cash from local credit union OnPoint, free family photos from a local photography studio, tickets to the pinball museum in Hillsboro and a spa package, is aiming to sign 1,000 to 1,500 students in the summer reading program.

Cornelius is offering weekly workshops including how to fish and how to tune up your bicycle. The library will be asking students to read 20 hours or 40 sessions of 15 minutes.

Forest Grove is handing out hiking trail-inspired forms, on which students will mark stops for every 20 minutes they spend reading.

Neither program assigns specific books. It's all about reading.

"When kids are in school all year, everyone tells them what to read. We want to showcase to kids that reading can be a lot of fun, and in order for reading to be fun, they have to have choice in the matter," Forest Grove library services supervisor Nathan Jones said. "You can read the back of a cereal box if that's what you really want to read. We really don't care, as long as we keep kids reading. Over time, summer reading can add up to two or three years of school."


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