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Why Reading Means Summer Fun for Kids!

Jun 29, 2015 05:18AM ● Published by Jason Huddle

It’s easy to get lost in these dog days of summer, when the school year is just as far in the horizon as it is in the rear view mirror. Now that it’s mid-July, the Cabarrus County Public Library’s 2015 Summer Reading Program is in full swing with a superhero-sized calendar of free events and programs for the entire family.

So far, more than 5,500 people have signed up for the program, which encourages summer reading and education through courses and events around a centralized theme. This year’s theme is superheroes.

Need a little motivation to get you through? Cabarrus County’s library staff sent in their top 10 reasons to stay engaged in summer reading. Here’s what they had to say.

10. It’s hot outside. A good book reads well in the air conditioning or poolside.

9. Chocolate. Yes, there is a program for adults on the health benefits of chocolate. There are several other classes that will help you escape the ordinary, like introductions to belly dancing and yoga.

8. No time? No problem. You don’t have to stop by the library—pick up your favorite titles as eBooks and eAudio. It all counts toward t he summer reading challenge.

7. Order off the lite menu. Between your traditional books, the library can fill your need for lite titles, such as print and digital magazines, a selection from their NEW collection of digital graphic novels or even comic books.

6. Meet your personal heroes. Whether they are comic book artists, filmmakers, therapy dogs or our hometown heroes, special guests are a big part of the Summer Reading Program.

5. Fill your feed. Does your summer Facebook feed need a little boost? “Like” your way to coolest parent ever with tons of free events the family will love. Share pics from a “Peter Pan” performance at Stories under the Stars, the birds of prey event with the Raptor Center and the apocalyptic zombie game—your feed will not disappoint.

4. Become a little more interesting. Use the Summer Reading Program to pick up a new skill, like creating a podcast, upcycling books and magazines to create art and reviving the throwback craft of Perler Beads.

3. Avoid starting a school year trying to catch up. Reading, even just a little and just stuff you like, can keep your brain active and imagination in high gear. Students who don’t read over the summer spend about two months of the next school year trying to remember skills they forgot over the break.

2. Say it’s for the kids…but really use it as an excuse to check out the library for the first time in a decade—or maybe longer. The library’s staff can make personalized recommendations and show you the ropes, including how to navigate eResources so you can go another decade without visiting a building and still get free books.

1. Prizes, prizes, prizes! Everyone who participates in summer reading will walk away with a trinket and everyone who completes a reading log earns a free book. If you can’t wait that long, participate in one of the puzzle/brain teaser games, submit a book review or take a crack at the guessing jar—you could walk away with some great swag.

Participate in the Cabarrus County Summer Reading Program through August 15 at any branch of the Cabarrus County Public Library. The program is open to any Cabarrus County resident and divides participants into age groups with age-appropriate activities.

While it may seem easier to let kids beat the heat by spending lazy days in front of the television or tablet, parents should take advantage of the many learning opportunities the summer offers.

Why is learning so critical this time of year? During the summer months, many children will lose some of the skills they obtained during the school year. Students who lose reading ability over the summer rarely catch up. In fact, research from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that 75 percent of students who are poor readers in third grade, a critical grade for literacy skill building, remain poor readers in high school.

Improved learning, one child at a time
To help children keep and develop this essential skill, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) has joined forces with Macy’s to help keep kids laughing and learning with enriching summer activities and children’s book favorites. The key to helping children maintain and even improve their literacy skills over the summer is providing access to quality books that they can choose based on personal interests. When children have books readily available to them, they are motivated and empowered to read, helping improve their overall success in school and life.

Macy’s is helping to ensure children have access to high-quality books through its Be Book Smart campaign. The store invites customers nationwide to give $3 at their local store to help provide a book for a child in need. As a thank you, customers get $10 off a purchase of $30 or more, plus 15% or 20% off storewide. 100% of the proceeds go directly to RIF to provide books and learning resources to children who need them most. Customers not only give children the opportunity to build their literacy skills, but also the opportunity to experience the magic and power of books.

Inspire your reader
As a parent, you can help increase your child’s reading ability. Whether it’s playing games, singing songs or taking a trip to the local library – use this time to create new experiences together.

Adopt some of these everyday activities to help your children thrive during the summer months:

  • Boost your child’s vocabulary by talking about everything under the sun. Visit the library and check out books for the entire week. Pick one about birds or insects and go on an adventure walk to see if any live in your neighborhood.
  • Reading is contagious, so let your kids see you reading books, magazines and even cereal boxes.
  • Have books available in your child’s reach.
  • Play the alphabet game by finding letters starting from A-Z while in the car or on a walk.
  • Play easy word or rhyming games with your child.
  • Use sidewalk chalk to make a mural with your family. Don’t forget to title your masterpiece.
  • Have a “book-nic.” Grab a blanket, snacks and books to celebrate a beautiful summer day.

Help your kids retain the essential skills they learned in the classroom and plan for a season full of new adventures in reading. You can also provide books and reading adventures for kids who need them most by visiting your local Macy’s store this summer and giving $3. Visit www.macys.com/rif for more details.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (children reading)

Cabarrus County Public Library (CCPL) branch locations:

Concord: 27 Union Street N, Concord, 704-920-2050

Harrisburg: 201 Sims Parkway, Harrisburg, 704-920-2080

Kannapolis: 850 Mountain Street, Kannapolis, 704-920-1180

Mt. Pleasant: 8556 Cook Street, Mt. Pleasant, 704-920-2202

For more information on the Cabarrus County 2015 Summer Reading Program, including a downloadable calendar of free events, visit www.cabarruscounty.us/library.

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